New Zealand Name A Very Strong World Cup Squad

Stephen Kearney and Wayne Bennett have already made their mark on the New Zealand test side, picking the first Kiwi test side in a long time that looks perfectly set for the modern day game.

Gone are many of the players that get selected year in year out no matter how unfit they are or how many years out of form they have been, this Kiwi side is mobile, has a lot of skill and really looks like a team selected to beat Australia.

One very welcome move has been to stop selecting Super League based players who just are not up to speed. Only Brent Webb and Thomas Leuluai have been selected from Super League clubs.

The full New Zealand World Cup Squad is:
Nathan Cayless (Captain)
Adam Blair
Greg Eastwood
David Fa’alogo
Nathan Fien
Dene Halatau
Lance Hohaia
Krisnan Inu
David Kidwell
Thomas Leuluai
Jeff Lima
Issac Luke
Simon Mannering
Sika Manu
Benji Marshall
Steve Matai
Sam Perrett
Sam Rapira
Jerome Ropati
Setaimata Sa
Jeremy Smith
Iosia Soliola
Manu Vatuvei
Brent Webb

Its a good squad, a bloody good squad! I put together a Kiwi side just a few days ago and just about every player I selected was in this squad. The only player I think is really a bit unfortunant to miss out is Ben Matulino. I felt his size and mobility would have been very handy in the second row.

I have never seen a Kiwi squad with so much mobility and such a great mix of skill and work rate. This would be the starting side I would select from this Kiwi squad for the first game, keeping in mind this lineup will answer a lot of questions with combinations you might want later in the competition:

League Freaks Kiwi Lineup:
1. Brent Webb
2. Manu Vatuvei
3. Krisnan Inu
4. Steve Matai
5. Sam Perrett
6. Benji Marshall
7. Nathan Fien
8. Nathan Cayless
9. Issac Luke
10. Jeff Lima
11. Simon Mannering
12. Jeremy Smith
13. Greg Eastwood

14. Adam Blair
15. David Kidwell
16. Sam Rapira
17. Setaimata Sa

The Kiwis are lucky in that Brent Webb plays a lot like Wade McKinnon, so he will be able to fit right in with the Warriors players in this side.

I think Benji Marshall will be a big key to how the Kiwis go. He has all the ability in the world but he needs to ask quetions of the Aussie defense.

Issac Luke I think will have a fantastic tournament. He could very well end up being the player of the tournement.

I just really like this Kiwi squad over all. They will be hard to beat.

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