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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 June, 2005, 10:28 GMT 11:28 UK
All Blacks profiles - Forwards
Jerry Collins
Rodney So'oialo
Born: 4/11/80
Position: Flanker
Test caps: 20
Collins is one of the toughest tacklers in the game and delights All Black fans every time he piles in with the big hits.

He has been known to bulldoze opposition back-row forwards as well as the odd fly-half, whether in defence or launching a fresh attack.

Jono Gibbes
Jonno Gibbes
Born: 22/1/77
Position: Flanker
Test caps: 7
Gibbes burst onto the scene somewhat late in his career after earlier injury problems. He did it in style and now happily switches between lock and flanker.

He adds knowledgeable back-up in the lineout and is also one of the best tacklers in the New Zealand front five.

Carl Hayman
Carl Hayman
Born: 14/11/79
Position: Prop
Test caps: 17
Hayman became the 1,000th person to wear the All Black shirt when he won the first of his Test caps in 2001.

The 25-year-old has become one of the best props in the game and is a frightening sight when charging towards opposition front rows.

Chris Jack
Chris Jack
Born: 5/9/78
Position: Lock
Test caps: 36
Jack got into the game by watching his brothers play but has since grown in stature and international recognition.

He is one of the more skilful locks when it comes to ball handling and, when let loose, has a surprising turn of pace. Has enough experience to match the best the Lions throw at him.

Campbell Johnstone
Campbell Johnstone
Born: 7/1/1980
Position: Prop
Test caps: 0

Johnstone has made his mark with a series of mature performances for the Crusaders since making his debut in 2004.

The 26-year-old has retained his job as a valuer in Christchurch and likes to spend his spare time indulging his passion for stamp collecting.

Sione Lauaki
Sione Lauaki
Born: 22/6/1981
Position: Flanker
Test caps: 1

The powerful loose forward has made a late run into the Test squad after impressive performances for the Waikato Chiefs.

Lauaki, who has three caps for the Pacific Islanders, made his New Zealand debut as an impact replacement in the 91-0 win over Fiji.

Norm Maxwell
Norm Maxwell
Born: 5/3/76
Position: Lock
Test caps: 36
Maxwell has had a controversial build-up to the Lions visit following an altercation with a doorman at a bar.

He is getting back into All Black contention once more, though, after a sabbatical from the game to travel. Big Norm will ensure his presence is felt throughout the summer.

Richie McCaw
Richie McCaw
Born: 31/12/80
Position: Flanker
Test caps: 26
McCaw will be arguably the first name on Graham Henry's teamsheet, so prolific has he been for them in past series.

The 24-year-old is seemingly omnipresent at the bottom of every ruck doing his utmost to get the ball back to his team-mates. He also boasts a prolific tackle rate and will be high on the Lions hit list.

Kevin Mealamu
Kevin Mealamu
Born: 20/3/79
Position: Hooker
Test caps: 22
Mealamu has slightly slipped out of contention of late but he remains the true modern forward - just as happy packing down with the forwards as following up his own chip and chase.

He might well be deemed too small against a bulky Lions pack but his energy could prove the ideal ingredient for a super sub.

Anton Oliver
Anton Oliver
Born: 9/9/75
Position: Hooker
Test caps: 43
A former All Black captain, Oliver has more experience than most of his team-mates - he has played every single Super 12 season since its inception.

And there was little doubting he had the pedigree for the job - his father, Frank, skippered the All Blacks in the Seventies.

James Ryan
James Ryan
Born: 8/2/1983
Position: Lock
Test caps: 0
At 6ft 6in and nearly 18st, Ryan will provide a major physical presence in the All Blacks pack despite his inexperience at the top level.

Ryan played in the New Zealand side that won the Under-21 World Cup in 2004 and is said to have impressed All Blacks coach Graham Henry with his performance in the trial match.

Greg Somerville
Greg Somerville
Born: 28/11/77
Position: Prop
Test caps: 41
The solid prop is one of the more dependable performers in the New Zealand front five.

His thunder is often stolen by his better-known team-mates but there is no denying Somerville's importance. A brute of a scrummager, he is a tough nut to crack and anvil-like when it comes to trying to shift him.

Rodney So'oialo
Rodney So'oialo
Born: 3/10/79
Position: Number eight
Test caps: 9
His brother Steven may ply his trade in the Premiership with Harlequins, but the Wellington captain looks unlikely to follow suit for the time being.

New Zealand have an overflowing pot of talented back-row forwards, of which the barnstorming So'oialo is just one.

Mose Tuiali'i
Mose Tuiali'i
Born: 25/3/81
Position: Number eight
Test caps: 5
He has been virtually unrivalled by number eights in the Super 12 and is gaining more and more admirers for a series of all-or-nothing appearances.

Curiously enough, he and All Blacks coach Graham Henry share some sort of history. Henry used to be headmaster of Kelston Boys' School, where Tuiali'i was educated.

Derren Witcombe
Derren Whitcombe
Born: 30/10/1978
Position: Hooker
Test caps: 0
Witcombe has moved into contention after an impressive Super 12 season with the Auckland Blues during which he sometimes kept Kevin Mealamu on the bench.

The 28-year-old is also a decent cricketer, having represented Northland as a wicketekeeper/batsman.

Ali Williams
Ali Williams
Born: 30/4/81
Position: Lock
Test caps: 20
Williams is back in the game after receiving a six-week ban for stamping. Hopefully he has apologised to fellow All Black Richie McCaw, whose head received unwanted attention from Williams.

A multi-talented sportsman, he is an agile presence in the lineout and gets himself in the mix at every occasion. An all-round athlete for the All Blacks.

Tony Woodcock
Tony Woodcock
Born: 27/1/81
Position: Prop
Test caps: 6
Slowly but surely, Woodcock is making his way into the All Black reckoning and, at 24, still has plenty of time in which to make his mark.

Last year, plaudits rained down on him, most notably after New Zealand's 45-6 trouncing of France on French turf last November.




ALL BLACKS PLAYER PROFILES
 

LIONS TOUR 2005

ALL BLACKS WHITEWASH LIONS




VOTE RESULTS
What was the main reason for the Lions' whitewash in NZ?
All Blacks just too good
58%
Woodward's selections
30%
Injuries to key players
6%
Squad was too big
6%
97190 Votes Cast
Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

Vote now closed



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