The amazing thing about the All Black World Cup squad is how many holes there are in it. Four years in the making, it is dotted with untested, unfit, uncertain, under-done selections.

There's nothing to match the bombshell Australia dropped by naming only two proper hookers, one of whom - Tatafu Polata-Nau - isn't very good anymore and at best operated in fits and starts.

The final 31 has been named, Gregor Paul and Patrick McKendry explain and expole the selectors thinking, Highlanders winger Waisake Naholo is the surprise face in the All Blacks 31-man squad for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

But as powerful as a top All Black match-day 23 is, there are problems waiting to be launched elsewhere.

Keven Mealamu is running on old legs, likewise Tony Woodcock although he tends to save his best for the black jersey, Codie Taylor is an unknown quantity and looks average, big Charlie Faumuina is well short on game time, a fourth lock couldn't be found, Liam Messam is going sideways, Victor Vito is a nearly man, Tawera Kerr-Barlow has hardly played this year, TJ Perenara has not stamped his mark at halfback, Colin Slade and Beauden Barrett are not dead-set convincing No. 10 backups, Dan Carter has been patchy, Sonny Bill Williams has been a flop in two out of three tests this season, Waisake Naholo will have been out for over two months when he takes the field.

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All Blacks Head coach Steve Hansen says "We can't win this World Cup by having something ordinary - we have to bring something different and he brings that."It's apparent, then, that the All Blacks are prepared to inject youth and inexperience into the mix once they get to England. They want to use their experienced core to blunt opponents, the unknown components such as Naholo, Nehe Milner-Skudder and Malakai Fekitoa to cut through them.

The selection to celebrate: Nehe Milner-Skudder. He plays with a skill and freedom that could set the All Blacks and World Cup alight, and most importantly is a wizard at setting things up for others. I love watching Milner-Skudder, and applaud Steve Hansen's bold faith in a new talent/

As for Waisake Naholo's alleged miracle cure - nonsense. Traditional, alternative and holistic approaches deserve to be taken seriously and western medicine - including the insidious influence of gigantic pharmaceutical companies - deserves more scepticism.
But that scepticism also extends to the idea that the application of leaves can fix a fracture. It makes a nice story, but wouldn't stand up to investigation.

As for the announcement from Parliament, the party political broadcast on behalf of rugby by the Minister of Sport brought a tear to the eye but not the right sort, as did all the mentions of the Prime Minister. This is the sort of baby-kissing politics which should be kept out of sport.

All Blacks Rugby World Cup Squad:


Props: Tony Woodcock, Wyatt Crockett, Owen Franks, Charlie Faumuina, Ben Franks
Hookers: Dane Coles, Keven Mealamu, Codie Taylor
Locks: Brodie Retallick, Sam Whitelock, Luke Romano
Loose Forwards: Jerome Kaino, Liam Messam, Richie McCaw (c), Sam Cane, Kieran Read, Victor Vito
Halfbacks: Aaron Smith, TJ Perenara, Tawera Kerr-Barlow
First-Fives: Dan Carter, Beauden Barrett, Colin Slade
Midfield Backs: Ma'a Nonu, Sonny Bill Williams, Conrad Smith, Malakai Fekitoa
Outside Backs: Waisake Naholo, Nehe Milner-Skudder, Julian Savea, Ben Smith