So I was close. I missed Schwalger in the props.
I missed Hore at hooker; I should have realised they would go for him.
I got the locks. I am surprised at the loosies with Luaki missing out!
I am pleased Leonard got in, but I didn't think they would pick him yet... he is a rare talent. I feel sorry for Jimmy Cowan who has been in great form.
I am glad they went for Evans and not Donald; I am a great fan of Evans and believe Donald has some serious deficiencies.
The second fives picked themselves; Mauger and McAlister.
Great to see Toeava and Smith together; two styles at centre. I feel sorry for Nonu however; he is a game breaker.
So Howlett got the nod ahead of Gear at wing. Fair enough, he has played very well. I am not sure that he is a better option. Great to see Rokocoko in; he has been poorly treated at the Blues and I am confident he will be back to being the worlds number 1 or 2 again asap. I wonder if Smith is so brilliant that we are erring in promoting him; he could be a brilliant unexpected world cup player much like Williams in South Africa in 1970, Batty in 1972, S. Wilson in 1978, Kirwan in 1987, G. Wilson in 1994, Lomu in 1995 etc. Wings to me are different; when a brilliant young player comes through, they need to be let loose asap as they tend to lose pace and effectiveness. Everyone of these players except perhaps S. Wilson shone brightly for a short period; I hope we have not missed the boat with this rare talent.
I am glad Muliaina was picked at fullback; he is the best in the world, and in my view, one of the most complete fullbacks of all time. He may play centre but only if MacDonald really improves his game.
It is a good team! Good enough?