7 Sep 2011

Sport: All Blacks name strong line up to face Tonga

10:43 am on 7 September 2011

The All blacks have shown respect for Tonga by naming a strong forward pack for Friday night's Rugby World Cup opener in Auckland.

Expecting Tonga's traditional physical approach New Zealand captain Richie McCaw will surrounded by a powerful pack including the rugged front row of Tony Woodcock, Andrew Hore and Owen Franks.

Its an experienced and towering middle row with locks Ali Williams and Brad Thorn named while McCaw's loose forward work will be aided by Jerome Kaino and Victor Vito.

Jimmy Cown has been named at half back while Sonny Bill Williams and Ma'a Nonu have been partnered in the centres.

Israel Dagg has snared the fullback's role while Isaia Toeava and Richard Kahui will be on the wings.

All blacks assistant coach, Steve Hansen, says after the rapturous reception Tonga received at the Auckland International Airport on Monday, Tonga will want to repay the fans devotion with a big performance