18 Oct 2009

Tough calls for All Blacks selectors

1:50 pm on 18 October 2009

The All Blacks coach Graham Henry admits the decisions to drop some incumbents and select four new caps was difficult.

Henry says there are a lot of good players who haven't been selected and they will be disappointed.

He added that the changing nature of the international game, where teams are kicking deep for territory and forcing the opposition to respond or run the ball back, had influenced the selections for the tour.

New wings Zac Guildford had a great year and he and Ben Smith have the skill sets needed in the modern game.

Henry says being good under the high ball and at the kick-chase game and also counter attack as a back three were keys to their selection while new first-five Mike Delany was picked on form.

The selectors like his real positiveness when he plays, Henry saying Delany's a really good kicker of the ball and he has the ability to counter attack as well.

Tamati Ellison has been in the All Black group for some time and the selectors are very impressed with him.