RWC latest – Vito the bolter for ABs brings you news related to the World Cup.

Vito the bolter for ABs – Victor Vito has been included in the All Blacks’ World Cup squad.

Graham Henry has also included lock Anthony Boric, and wing Zac Guildford. As expected, forwards Liam Messam and Jarrad Hoeata didn’t make the cut, but it surprised a few locals to hear that Hosea Gear, Sitiveni Sivivatu and Wyatt Crockett were omitted.

‘It’s got a lot of experience – it’s the most experienced All Black side in the history of the game – but we’ve also got a number of younger players we think give real vitality and enthusiasm and edge,’ said the All Blacks coach at the squad announcement. ‘They’re mainly in the outside backs.’

Backline coach Wayne Smith said it had been tough to pick the back three players.

‘We just pick the best players that play the best,’ said Smith. ‘You want people who can take the high ball, you want people who are able to chase, you want players with high work-rate who can counter-attack, and off phase play get from their side of the field to the other side. You want high number of touches and good ability in the backfield.

‘But you look at Siti who was another one who played really well for us this year, even Ben Smith in his cameo… they all put form on the track. We just had to make a judgement on who we felt were the best, and on balance we’re happy with it.’

Despite a shaky performance against the Springboks in Port Elizabeth, Colin Slade will go to the World Cup as Dan Carter’s understudy at flyhalf.

All Blacks World Cup squad:
Forwards: John Afoa, Anthony Boric, Corey Flynn, Ben Franks, Owen Franks, Andrew Hore, Jerome Kaino, Richie McCaw (c), Keven Mealamu, Kieran Read, Adam Thomson, Brad Thorn, Victor Vito, Sam Whitelock, Ali Williams, Tony Woodcock.
Backs: Daniel Carter, Jimmy Cowan, Israel Dagg, Andy Ellis, Zac Guildford, Cory Jane, Richard Kahui, Mils Muliaina, Ma’a Nonu, Colin Slade, Conrad Smith, Isaia Toeava, Piri Weepu, Sonny Bill Williams.

Warburton to lead Wales – Sam Warburton will lead Wales at the World Cup in the injury-enforced absence of Matthew Rees.

Coach Warren Gatland has left veteran flanker Martyn Williams out of his 30-man squad. He has also omitted Dwayne Peel, Josh Turnbull, Jonathan Thomas and Gareth Turnbull.

Ron Hibbard, Gavin Henson and Morgan Stoddart were all unavailable for selection due to injuries. The good news is Gethin Jenkins is included and management is confident he will make a full recovery from a calf injury.

Wales World Cup squad:

Forwards (16): Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Lloyd Burns (Newport Gwent Dragons), Huw Bennett (Ospreys), Ryan Bevington (Ospreys), Adam Jones (Ospreys), Paul James (Ospreys), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Craig Mitchell (Exeter), Bradley Davies (Cardiff Blues), Sam Warburton (captain, Cardiff Blues), Luke Charteris (Newport Gwent Dragons), Danny Lydiate (Newport Gwent Dragons), Toby Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons), Ryan Jones (Ospreys), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Andy Powell (Sale Sharks).
Backs (14): Michael Phillips (Bayonne), Lloyd Williams (Cardiff Blues), Tavis Knoyle (Scarlets), Jamie Roberts (Cardiff Blues), James Hook (Perpignan), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets), Stephen Jones (Scarlets), Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Leigh Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues), Lee Byrne (Clermont Auvergne), Aled Brew (Newport Gwent Dragons), Shane Williams (Ospreys), George North (Scarlets).

Maka to spearhead Tongan assault – Finau Maka has been named captain of the Tonga side for the World Cup.

The powerful No 8 was one of the stars of the 2007 tournament, but the decision to pick him as captain for the 2011 competition has come as a surprise. Maka hasn’t competed at the top level as far as club rugby is concerned for some time.

Super Rugby players Taniela Moa and Fetu’u Vainikolo were also included in the squad.

Tonga World Cup squad:
Aleki Lutui, Ephraim Taukafa, Aloisio Ma’asi, Alisona Taumalolo, Kisi Pulu, Soane Tonga’uiha, Halani Aulika, Taufa’ao Filise, Kelekolio Hehea, Sione Timani, Tukulua Lokotui, Joseph Tu’ineau, Sione Kalamafoni, Finau Maka (c), Viliami Ma’afu, Samiu Vahafolau, Sione Vaiomo’unga, Taniela Moa, Thomas Palu, Samisoni Fisilau, Kurt Morath, Siale Piutau, Alipate Fatafehi, Andrew Ma’ilei, Sukanaivalu Hufanga, William Helu, Fetu’u Vainikolo, Alaska Taufa, Viliame Iongi, Vungakoto Lilo.

Clever to captain USA – Former Lions loose forward Todd Clever will skipper the Eagles at the World Cup. University of Cape Town loose forward JJ Gagiano is also included in the 30-man squad.

USA squad:
Forwards: Inaki Basauri (Perigueux), Chris Biller (San Francisco Golden Gate), Todd Clever (Suntory Sungoliath), Pat Danahy (Life University), Eric Fry (Las Vegas Blackjacks), JJ Gagiano (University of Cape Town), Nic Johnson (Unattached), Scott LaValla (Stade Francais), Mike MacDonald (Leeds Carnegie), Brian McClenahan (Olympic Club), Mate Moeakiola (Bobigny 93), Shawn Pittman (London Welsh), Hayden Smith (Saracens), Louis Stanfill (Unattached), Phil Thiel (Life University), John van der Giessen (Unattached).
Backs: Paul Emerick (Life University), Tai Enosa (Belmont Shore), Colin Hawley (Olympic Club), Nese Malifa (Glendale), Taku Ngwenya (Biarritz), James Paterson (Otago), Mike Petri (New York Athletic Club), Blaine Scully (Unattached), Junior Sifa (Nottingham RFC), Andrew Suniula (Chicago Griffins), Roland Suniula (Boston Rugby), Kevin Swiryn (Agen), Tim Usasz (Nottingham RFC), Chris Wyles (Saracens).

Cup organisers sweating ticket sales – Rugby World Cup organisers need 200 000 tickets to be sold in 17 days to make their revenue targets.

They are currently NZ$ 30.5 million short of their target (being NZ$219 million worth of tickets sold), but even if they manage that figure they will still be NZ$32 million short of breaking even. That deficit will then be met by New Zealand taxpayers and the New Zealand Rugby Union.

Rugby World Cup minister Murray McCully said on Tuesday that ticket sales are ‘pretty much on target’ and he was confident of the revenue target being met. There has been a concerted push to market the tournament in Australia, where interest in travelling to the tournament is high. It is estimated that 5000 South Africans will travel from the Republic to attend matches at the tournament, with more coming from the expat community.