Unselected All Blacks XV

Unselected All Blacks XV

The All Blacks are the World's best team for a number of reasons, one of them being their enormous amount depth in a number of positions. 

All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen and his staff have the nearly impossible task of cutting the pool of players to about 33 players every few months. 

Following the latest All Black squad announcement ahead of the Rugby Championship, we picked an XV of the players not included in the squad. 

No injured or overseas-based players have been taken into account for this XV. 

1. Daniel Lienert-Brown

The All Blacks loosehead options have depreciated over the past 8 months with Kane Hames still struggling with a long-term injury and Wyatt Crockett announcing his retirement.

However, they have still have depth in the position with the likes of excluded Highlanders loosehead Daniel Lienert-Brown enjoying a strong season with the side. 

Hurricanes loosehead was also in fine form and will likely represent the Maori All Blacks. 

2. Ricky Riccitelli
Ash Dixon and Ricky Riccitelli are two powerful hookers who have missed out on a call up over the past few seasons.
The All Blacks do have a number of quality hookers with Liam Coltman only being included as injury cover and rising start Asafo Aumua nursing an injury.
3. Jeff Toomaga-Allen
The 1-test All Black is still yet to add to his single test cap against Italy in 2013 despite being included in a number of training squads since.
The Hurricanes tighthead was in good form this Super Rugby season, becoming a Super Rugby centurion.
Chiefs' tighthead Angus Ta'avo is another unfortunate tighthead prop who enjoyed a breakout Super Rugby season. 
4. Vaea Fifita
Yes, Vaea Fifita! The aggressive hard working Hurricanes second rower has been left out of the All Blacks Rugby Championship squad.
Fifita shone in the test arena last year and came off the bench in both of the All Blacks tests against France.
He has been replaced in the squad by the likes of Jackson Hemopo and Shannon Frizell. 
The versatile forward struggled with injuries ahead of the Hurricanes playoffs but did feature of the bench against the Chiefs and Crusaders. 
5. Luke Romano
29-test caps worth of experience is not enough for Crusaders' lock Luke Romano to secure a spot in the All Blacks squad.
Romano spent the majority of the 2018 Super Rugby season on the bench behind Scott Barrett and has not been included in the All Blacks squad ahead of the Rugby Championship despite making the June Tests squad.
Uncapped Highlanders lock Tom Franklin is another lock unlucky to miss out on a call-up.
6. Lachlan Boshier
One of the most consistent performers for the Chiefs this Super Rugby season, Lachlan Boshier is still a far down the All Blacks pecking order.
The likes of Liam Squire, Shannon Frizell, Jordan Taufua and Jackson Hemopo are likely ahead of the young Chief.
However, that does not take away from how brilliant Boshier has been this season. 
7. Matt Todd
Matt Todd is a classic example of a player in the right place at the wrong time. 
Todd's career was stalled early on with the legendary Richie McCaw occupying the Crusaders and All Blacks 7 jersey.
After McCaw, Sam Cane came along and has since made the All Black jersey his own. 
Todd is an exceptionally talented flanker and will likely be called up if there are any injuries but he is arguably the unluckiest player on this list.
8. Akira Ioane
The Blues no.8 was one of the best players in Super Rugby season but his efforts was still not enough to earn a spot in the All Black squad.
Ioane is not far from a test call-up having been involved with the All Blacks squad recently. 
Gareth Evans is also unlucky to have not been included in the squad after enjoying his best Super Rugby season with the Hurricanes.
9. Bryn Hall/ Brad Weber
Hard to pick between the Crusaders' halfback Bryn Hall and Chiefs' halfback Brad Weber. 
Weber was in impressive form on his return from a broken leg and was promoted to the starting XV ahead of Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi - who did receive a call-up.
Bryn Hall and Mitchell Drummond were used in a rotation last season at the Crusaders but the former seemed to make the starting jersey his own with impressive all-round performances. 
10. Stephen Perofeta
The Blues first-five showed glimpses of what to expect in the future. Perofeta is not likely to get a call-up this year with Beauden Barrett, Damian McKenzie and Richie Mo'unga fight for the starting 10 jersey but he is certainly one to bookmark for the future. 
11. Ben Lam
A breakout season which saw Ben Lam break the Super Rugby record for the most tries in a single season was not enough to earn Lam a call-up.
The All Blacks do have a considerable amount of depth in all back three positions with the someone like Solomon Alaimalo also missing out. 
12. Ngani Laumape
The All Black centre enjoyed a fine season with the Hurricanes and although he could still feature against Australia he has only be named as injury cover form Sonny-Bill Williams. 
13. Rob Thompson
The Highlanders and Maori All Blacks centre enjoyed his finest season following the departure of Malakai Fekitoa. 
He was superb on defence and attack and is another who could have had an impact in the squad if given the chance. 
Wes Goosen was also brilliant when fit and could have made the list at 13 and on the wing. 
14. George Bridge
Bridge was stellar throughout the season for the Crusaders scoring 15 tries in 18 games on their way to successive titles.
The Crusaders try-scoring machine is another that will make his test debut sometime in the near future with his ability to play across the back three much like Ben Smith and Nehe Milner-Skudder.
Shaun Stevenson, Sean Wainui and Tevita Li are also unlucky not to make the squad.
15. David Havili 
Crusaders' fullback David Havili is another victim of the All Blacks fantastic depth in the back three. 
Havili was beaten to a spot in the side by the likes of Jordie Barrett, Nehe Milner-Skudder and Ben Smith.
Havili's teammate Israel Dagg would also have been unluckly exclusion but the veteran fullback decided to take a short-term deal up in Japan, ruling him out of contention. 

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