All Blacks RWC squad announced

9:32 am on 31 August 2015

The wingers, Waisake Naholo, and, Nehe Milner-Skudder, and the half back, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, are the notable selections in the All Blacks' 31 man squad for the rugby World Cup.

Waisake Naholo on the break against Argentina, with Richie McCaw in support.

Waisake Naholo on the break against Argentina, with Richie McCaw in support. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Naholo was unexpectedly named after having been initially ruled out of contention when he suffered a broken leg on his test debut against Argentina last month.

Naholo sought out alternative treatment in Fiji in an effort to make the World Cup.

Coach Steve Hansen said the selection of wingers Naholo and Milner-Skudder bring new qualities to the team that it's been lacking.

He told Sky Sport both Naholo and Milner-Skudder have the advantage of being unknown internationally.

"What Nehe and Waisake bring is something different. Something that this team hasn't had for a little while, hasn't had real, genuine pace like Waisake brings and hasn't had a guy who can turn on a sixpence like Nehe can.

"So the opposition don't know a lot about them, and hopefully by the end of the tournament they do."

Hansen said the half back, Kerr-Barlow, brings a defensive edge to the position.

Nehe Milner-Skudder

Nehe Milner-Skudder Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

"Defensively I think he's one of the best half backs in the world. Though he hasn't played a lot of Test matches every time he's played he's shown us something defensively."

Kerr-Barlow hasn't played for the All Blacks so far in 2015 and missed the Super Rugby season with injury.

Due to his absence it was widely speculated that selectors would only choose two half backs which would allow them to select a fifth outside back.

John Key congratulates squad members.

John Key congratulates squad members. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Richie McCaw will captain the side as he seeks to become the first player to lift the Webb Ellis trophy for a second time.

The team, which includes 17 forwards and 14 backs, was announced this evening at Parliament.

Israel Dagg, Cory Jane, Charles Piutau and Lima Sopoaga have missed out on selection, as has Wellington lock Jeremy Thrush.

Four outside backs have been named in the squad along with three halfbacks, three first-five-eighths and four midfielders.

In the forwards, only three locks have been chosen, allowing the selection of six loose forwards, five props and three hookers.

"It's a huge honour to represent your country on the international stage. It's the pinnacle for any New Zealand rugby player and we know the players and their families will be immensely proud of what they have achieved, as are we." Hansen said.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen.

Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

The tournament kicks off on 19 September.

Tawera Kerr-Barlow

Tawera Kerr-Barlow Photo: PHOTOSPORT


Dane Coles (Wellington, 30 Tests)

Keven Mealamu (Auckland, 126 Tests)

Codie Taylor (Canterbury, three Tests)


Wyatt Crockett (Canterbury, 40 Tests)

Charlie Faumuina (Auckland, 27 Tests)

Ben Franks (Hawke's Bay, 43 Tests)

Owen Franks (Canterbury, 72 Tests)

Tony Woodcock (North Harbour, 115 Tests)


Brodie Retallick (Bay of Plenty, 41 Tests)

Luke Romano (Canterbury, 20 Tests)

Samuel Whitelock (Canterbury, 66 Tests)

Loose forwards

Sam Cane (Bay of Plenty, 24 Tests)

Jerome Kaino (Auckland, 60 Tests)

Richie McCaw, captain (Canterbury, 142 Tests)

Liam Messam (Waikato, 42 Tests)

Kieran Read (Canterbury, 77 Tests)

Victor Vito (Wellington, 28 Tests)



Tawera Kerr-Barlow (Waikato, 15 Tests)

TJ Perenara (Wellington, 15 Tests)

Aaron Smith (Manawatu, 41 Tests)

First five-eighths

Beauden Barrett (Taranaki, 30 Tests)

Daniel Carter (Canterbury, 106 Tests)

Colin Slade (Canterbury, 20 Tests)


Malakai Fekitoa (Auckland, 11 Tests)

Ma'a Nonu (Wellington, 97 Tests)

Conrad Smith (Wellington, 88 Tests)

Sonny Bill Williams (Counties Manukau, 26 Tests)

Outside backs

Nehe Milner-Skudder (Manawatu, two Tests)

Waisake Naholo (Taranaki, one Test)

Julian Savea (Wellington, 35 Tests)

Ben Smith (Otago, 41 Tests)