The All Blacks head into their Rugby World Cup semifinal with two playmakers who weren’t on the original squad as Colin Slade and Mils Muliaina joined Dan Carter in suffering tournament-ending injuries.
The following is a roundup of stories from the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
New Zealand rugby union selectors named the following team for the All Blacks’ fourth Rugby World Cup match against Canada on Oct. 2 in Wellington:
Rugby World Cup favorite New Zealand made nine changes to play Tonga in the tournament’s opening match in two days, retaining only two of the seven backs who started last month’s loss to Australia.
New Zealand captain Richie McCaw and full-back Mils Muliaina, the All Blacks’ two most- experienced players, will miss tomorrow’s Rugby World Cup match against Japan because of injuries.
New Zealand scored 13 tries yesterday in its 83-7 defeat of Japan, which moves the All Blacks clear atop their Rugby World Cup group with the maximum points from their opening two matches.
New Zealand omitted wingers Sitiveni Sivivatu and Hosea Gear as selectors picked the most experienced All Blacks squad to try and win the Rugby World Cup on home soil starting next month.
New Zealand recalled four players for their first Test appearance of 2011 in the All Blacks’ final match before their Rugby World Cup squad is announced.
New Zealand rugby selectors rested nine senior players including captain Richie McCaw and playmaker Dan Carter for next week’s Tri-Nations match in South Africa.