When many of our current All Blacks were kids, they only wanted to be All Blacks. Coach Steve Hansen named his All Blacks squad to face Wales on Sunday and after some great players left the All Blacks after last year's World Cup, there were places in this squad open for new faces, for dreams to be made a reality.
Coach Hansen named Ofa Tu'ungafasi, Liam Squire, Elliot Dixon, Ardie Savea, Seta Tamanivalu and Damien McKenzie for their first ever All Blacks squad. I am most looking forward to watching Tamanivalu play as he is a beast in the midfield, but all these new players will still have to compete with a strong group of veterans.
Many of these players played in the two big Super Rugby games this weekend. Ardie Savea scored a last-minute try for the Hurricanes, they beat the Highlanders 27-20 and on Saturday night the Crusaders beat the Blues 26-21.
Who is your favourite rugby player in New Zealand?
Did they make the All Blacks?
Why do you think they did or did not make the All Blacks?
The All Blacks still have some players who are the best in the world in their position. Ben Smith is the best fullback in the world and Kieran Read is the best No.8 in the world, Aaron Smith is the best halfback, Brodie Rettalick is the best lock while Dane Coles is the best hooker. Who will be next?
The All Whites have not played many games recently, which sucks because we don't get to see our best footballers represent New Zealand. Thankfully, they are playing in the Oceania Nations Cup against our Pacific Island neighbours and their first game was against Fiji.
There were four players making their New Zealand debut in this game (Kip Colvey, Luke Adams, Monty Patterson and Luka Prelevic), so a 3-1 win was impressive. Themi Tzimopoulous scored a goal, Chris Wood scored a penalty and Fiji scored an own goal to give the kiwis 3 goals and Fiji's goal was scored by Wellington Phoenix striker Roy Krishna.
Who do the All Whites play next? Vanuatu, on Tuesday night at 6pm.
Yesterday in the NRL, there was a special game between Canberra Raiders and Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. This was special because it was dominated by kiwis!
Bulldogs winger Reimis Smith was told on Sunday morning that he would make his debut later that day and he joined fellow kiwis Curtis Rona, Sam Perrett, Raymond Faitala-Mariner and Greg Eastwood in the Bulldogs team. Smith scored two tries in his debut game, scoring a try with his very first touch of the ball in the NRL.
There were many kiwis in Canberra's team as well; Jordan Rapana, Iosia Soliola, Joe Tapine and Jeff Lima.
Canberra won 32-20 and kiwi players scored 24 of the 52 points (6 tries). Kiwi players also had 19/44 tackle busts and this game showed how important kiwis are to Australian NRL clubs.