Hunt for 4th World Cup as Ian Foster names 2023 RWC All Blacks squad

4th Rugby World Cup

Ian Foster named his best 33-man, 2023 RWC All Blacks squad to wear the silver fern badge aiming for the 4th Rugby World Cup (RWC) title at the tournament in France fast approaching in the coming month.

The squad announcement; which was made in Napier by former captain Richie McCaw, features 18 forwards and 15 backs – comprising six props, three hookers, four locks, five loose forwards, three halfbacks, three first five-eighths, four midfielders, and five outside backs. Total of 33 men.

Chiefs flanker Sam Cane has been handed the armband and is tasked to lead the team as they hunt for their 4th World Cup title and bring back the trophy which they last won in 2015.

The All Blacks look to overcome their disappointing outing in 2019 where they were eliminated by England in the semi-final – who were eventually defeated by the Springboks in the Rugby World Cup final.

Goal: 4th Rugby World Cup for New Zealand All Blacks

Ian Foster retained 16 players who featured for the side in the 2019 World Cup and included 17 debutants in the squad. Sam Whitelock heads to the tournament as the most capped player (145) for the All Blacks.

Notable Omission

Some of the notable omissions include Joe Moody and Dallas who are out with injuries which Foster had to highlight.

“They are both unfortunate, had re-injuries the last couple of weeks and that sort of set them back a little bit. And we really felt, particularly with Ethan, he is not due to play for another 3-4 weeks. Moody is sooner than that, we think Moods is in about 2 weeks, but with the compilation of his time off and our program and having to go into the first part of the World Cup fully loaded, we just wanted him to go get some game-time in the meantime. We’ve got a lot of faith in him, he’s a special player and hopefully there’s going to be an opportunity later for him.”

Brodie Retallick on the other hand hoped to be available to be available in the second game of the pool where New Zealand will be playing against Namibia. He further stated that in case not available for the game he will feature against Italy in the final pool game where he’s expected to be fully healed from his knee injury. Another notable inclusion is David Havili who has been sidelined with an injury during the international tournaments.

New Zealand clubs contributed players to the All-Blacks squad with the Crusader having the lions share.  Crusaders 9, Blues 8, Chiefs 8, Hurricanes 5 and Highlanders 3.

Ian Forster’s Statement

Ian Foster is hopeful for this World Cup as he incorporated a mix of youthful and experienced players.

“It’s a great privilege to both select and be selected for an All-Blacks Rugby World Cup squad,” said head coach Foster.   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 must be 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.’’

Ian Foster confirmed the inclusion of 3 extra players Brad Weber, Samipeni Finau and George Bell who will travel with the team to London ahead of their final warm-up game against South Africa on August 25.

The Squad

The All-Black squad for the World Rugby tournament.

Hookers (3): Codie Taylor, Dane Coles, Samisoni Taukei’aho
Props (6): 
Ethan de Groot, Fletcher Newell, Nepo Laulala, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Tamaiti Williams, Tyrel Lomax
Locks (4): 
Brodie Retallick, Sam Whitelock, Scott Barrett, Tupou Vaa’i
Loose forwards (5): 
Ardie Savea, Dalton Papali’i, Luke Jacobson, Sam Cane (captain), Shannon Frizell
Halfbacks (3): Aaron Smith, Finlay Christie, Cam Roigard
First five-eighths (3): Beauden Barrett, Damian McKenzie, Richie Mo’unga
Midfielders (4): Jordie Barrett, David Havili, Rieko Ioane, Anton Lienert-Brown
Outside backs (5): Caleb Clarke, Leicester Fainga’anuku, Will Jordan, Emoni Narawa, Mark Telea


“Main photo courtesy of Sports Freak twitter page”