There are Four new faces included in the All Blacks squad for their end of year tour, and it's a perfect time to introduce some future talent into an already well oiled machine. After last weekend's high tempo win against Australia, the All Blacks have won their last 10 games in a row, and the tries scored under the roof in Dunedin were some of the best of the season.
New Zealand hold that number one spot in the rugby world rankings after winning their last 10 games in a row; they haven't lost since the end of 2012 to England, something the team is hoping they can rectify on November 17.
New Zealand's clinical season looked to have peaked with their performance against South Africa in Johannesburg with what some are calling the best rugby game of the modern era. It was certainly the most entertaining game I've seen in a long time, with the championship on the line, and a world cup like intensity throughout.
The All Blacks will want to take the year unbeaten, but will need to keep their foot on the throttle, and introduce new blood at the right time to avoid a loss to England again, or an upset loss to Ireland for the first time, not to mention the unpredictable nature of the French who could run riot at home if they turn up with the right attitude.
The selectors have named a 36 man tour party made up of 20 forwards,16 backs and includes 5 uncapped players. Joe Moody is one of six props, and the All Black's scrum coach Mike Cron says Moody's a very good scrummager and has adapted well to the new scrum laws. The powerhouse that is Canterbury Rugby has produced some more colossal locks and loose forwards with Luke Whitelock and Dominic Bird called in as backup after they helped Canterbury reach another provincial final.
Not to mention the ever consistent Canterbury centre in Ryan Crotty who is likely to get a run in his second test appearance with the absence of Conrad Smith.
At half back, the fast feet of TJ Perenara return from injury ousting Piri Weepu, and he should get a run for the first time in a black jersey while they rest the outstanding Aaron Smith at some stage, after he's cemented himself as the number one distributer.
The Auckland Blues try scoring machine Frank Halai, earns a call up having been part of the wider training group but still no test start to his name.
The greenest player to get on the tour is 20 year-old Ardie Savea who's been brilliant for wellington this year, and is following in his older brother Julian's footsteps in his rise through age grade rugby. For my mind, Ardie Savea brings youthful excitement with his speed and agility for a forward, and I would love to see him take the field against Japan.
However the coaches have only been named the younger Savea as an apprentice, which suggests, they're happy to introduce him into the All Blacks environment slowly, but if there's some injuries, he may get a call up.
All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen says it's a perfect time to bring some new talent into the environment, after all the newly named squad members have shown impressive form for their provinces over the ITM Cup campaign. Providing the 2015 world cup will be held in England, this is a great chance for some youngsters to get a feel for the occasion, and a feel for winning as a tourist in Europe.
So far the Hansen and Foster coaching combination hasn't put a foot wrong in terms of selection and rotation of players, so I'm sure they've got their ducks in a row as they look to see out 2013 with 14 wins in a row.
Brad Mills enjoys the outdoors and almost any sport... For a day job he's a journalist who works at the Rhema Broadcasting Group in Auckland New Zealand.
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