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Have faith, Henry tells fans

Photosport

Sportal.co.nz     28 Sep 2007     Photosport

Before announcing the All Blacks team to play Romania in the final pool match on Saturday, Henry made a statement to the press conference that he had heard there was anxiety back in New Zealand because the team had a couple of days off after not playing well against Scotland and that the No.1 team wasn't being chosen for the Romanian game.

In an effort to get the message across he reiterated the same points he has been making throughout the time the team has been at the World Cup.

"We had a strategy and the strategy was that all the guys were fresh coming into the tournament. I think we've achieved that.

"We had a strategy of ensuring that the 30 players felt a vital part of the All Blacks team and the only way we could continue to fulfil that strategy was to make sure they all got game time and were considered for selection for the quarter-finals and we've continued with that strategy.

"We've got 30 players who are all pretty keen, all fit, or will be fit next week, going into the quarter-final.

"We've fulfilled the strategy, we feel we are on track," he said.

Henry finished by reminding everyone that the campaign had been planned for a considerable period of time and the men who inspired it in the first place, the selection panel, were comfortable with where the team is at.

"So I don't know why people have got some anxious times at home.

"Maybe you can express that strategy to our many, four and a half million, friends at home."

Henry said he expected the team named to play Romania would raise the side's standards again in the match.

"We picked up in some areas of weakness against Scotland, but maybe not in others so we have our own challenges this week," he said.

The team is: 1 - Neemia Tialata, 2 - Keven Mealamu, 3 - Greg Somerville, 4 - Reuben Thorne, 5 - Keith Robinson, 6 - Jerry Collins (captain), 7 - Chris Masoe, 8 - Sione Lauaki, 9 - Andy Ellis, 10 - Dan Carter, 11 - Sitiveni Sivivatu, 12 - Aaron Mauger, 13 - Isaia Toeava, 14 - Josevata Rokocoko, 15 - Nick Evans.

Reserves: 16 - Andrew Hore, 17 - Tony Woodcock, 18 - Chris Jack, 19 - Richie McCaw, 20 - Brendon Leonard, 21 - Luke McAlister, 22 - Conrad Smith.