Kirwan says right wing up for grabs

11:38 am on 16 September 2015

All Black great Sir John Kirwan says coach Steve Hansen has a well-balanced side at the World Cup with the right wing possibly the only real position up for grabs.

Former Blues coach Sir John Kirwan

Former Blues coach Sir John Kirwan Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Kirwan is in Europe to work for an Italian broadcaster during the tournament.

Kirwan, who played in the No.14 jersey during the 87 World Cup, praised Hansen for the selection of Nehe Milner-Skudder and Waisake Naholo in the squad.

Milner-Skudder warranted his selection after a breakout season for the Hurricanes, while Naholo is still recovering from a fracture leg bone.

Kirwan said their arrival opened up the debate over who will play on the right wing in the big games.

All Black wing Nehe Milner-Skudder

All Black wing Nehe Milner-Skudder Photo: PHOTOSPORT

"I think it is probably the one position where you can have some discussion about it," Kirwan said.

"I think Nehe Milner-Skudder is something that we need and Waisake Naholo also, but then what do you do at fullback."

"If Naholo can get back from injury then one of them needs to step up and claim the position."

Kirwan said there needed to be some surprise within a team.

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

"The All Blacks can be predictably good, whereas you don't know what Milner-Skudder and Naholo can do and so that will scare some teams, especially as the World Cup is all about defence now."

New Zealand open their World Cup against Argentina at Wembley on Monday morning.

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