Henry opts for youth ahead of experience

NEW ZEALAND coach Graham Henry has announced his 30-man squad for the Rugby World Cup with no place for quintet Sitiveni Sivivatu, Wyatt Crockett, Liam Messam, Jarrad Hoeata and Hosea Gear.

The five players were the notable absentees as Henry confirmed rumours by sticking with youth and form as opposed to experience.

The non selection is a blow for Gear, whose brother Rico was a shock absentee from the 2007 squad that travelled to France.

Sivivatu could also count himself unlucky after his stellar performance in the All Blacks’ 60-14 victory over Fiji saw Henry heap praise on the Fijian winger, whom he described as the best player on the field in the first half.

Crusaders and Hawke’s Bay winger Zac Guildford was chosen ahead of Sivivatu after a fine outing against Australia.

Crockett lost out to the ever-athletic John Afoa, who was severely tested in Port Elizabeth last weekend.

Hoeata, who made his debut for the All Blacks in Dunedin, is the victim of a resurgent Sam Whitelock and fit Blues and All Blacks lock Anthony Boric.

The All Blacks are in Brisbane for their final Tri-Nations clash against the Wallabies on Saturday at Suncorp Stadium.

ALL BLACKS’ WORLD CUP SQUAD: J Afoa, A Boric, D Carter, J Cowan, I Dagg, A Ellis, C Flynn, B Franks, O Franks, Z Guildford, A Hore, C Jane, R Kahui, J Kaino, R McCaw (capt), K Mealamu, M Muliaina, M’a Nonu, K Read, C Slade, C Smith, A Thomson, B Thorn, I Toeava, V Vito, P Weepu, S Whitelock, A Williams, S Bill Williams, T Woodcock.

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