Whilst the All Blacks as a team may look strong, individual players seem to be falling by the wayside as the tournament progresses. Having now lost two number 10s to groin injuries with Colin Slade going down in the Argentina quarter-final, Stephen Donald is now called into the squad, along with winger Hosea Gear who replaces Mils Muliaina who injured his shoulder during his 100th test match for New Zealand.
On the upside backs Israel Dagg and Richard Kahui are available for selection for this weekend’s semi-final clash with Australia.
Fullback Kurtley Beale is nursing a hamstring injury he received just before the end of Australia’s epic battle against South Africa on Sunday. If he doesn’t recover in time for the semi-final match, Adam Ashley-Cooper is likely to play fullback for the game against New Zealand on Sunday.
Another team with fly-half concerns are Wales, with Rhys Priestland injuring his shoulder during their quarter-final match against Ireland on Saturday. Again the coaching staff will take a ‘wait and see’ approach with the injury, with James Hook or Stephen Jones likely candidates to fill the role if Priestland doesn’t recover in time.