The anticipation for the World Cup is really starting to heat up in the rugby community as various sides start to book their player’s plane tickets over to France. In exciting news for Kiwi fans, Ian Foster is the latest to do so as he announces his final 33-man All Black squad.
The chance to play for your country in a World Cup is an honour that comes to so few, so there will be plenty of players experiencing a mixture of relief and excitement following this recent announcement. World Cup debutants will include the likes of Will Jordan, Caleb Clarke and fifteen other hard-working players that are about to experience the pinnacle of their rugby existence.
The other half of the squad brings with them the experience of multiple World Cups prior, including the likes of all three Barrett brothers, with both Jordie and Scott set to make their second, and Beauden appearing in his third competition.
It’s going to be a big occasion for Sam Whitelock as he looks to make his fourth World Cup. The 34-year-old is still very much at the top of his game and heads to France expected to join up in the lock with long-time teammate Brodie Retallick.
Head Coach Ian Foster was keen to emphasise the honour of the opportunity: “It’s a great privilege to both select and be selected for an All Blacks Rugby World Cup squad,
“We congratulate those 33 players selected. This group has grown in belief and is highly motivated to represent our country with pride in France, as we seek to be the first nation to win the Rugby World Cup four times.
“This year’s Rugby World Cup promises to be the most competitive yet and the pool draw means we have to ready right from the outset. We have worked hard through the first part of our season and have made some strong progress through the Rugby Championship and the Bledisloe series. There is more growth to come and more is needed.
“This is a vastly experienced team but with over half the players going to their first RWC, it has a strong balance of youth and future planning.
“The challenge is to continue our growth through the game in London vs South Africa, into our camp in Germany before arriving in Lyon with a clear focus on performance in each of our pool games.”
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) August 7, 2023
All Blacks Squad
Ethan de Groot
Sam Cane – Captain