Craig Dowd
Trojan Broadhurst a great All Blacks selection
Craig Dowd
June 24, 2015
Tawerra Kerr-Barlow has obviously shown the hard work to make a return to the All Blacks squad © Getty Images

So far as that All Blacks selection was concerned, the surprise for me was the inclusion of half-back Tawera Kerr-Barlow. He's been thrown a real lifeline but, obviously, the hard work he's been throwing in behind the scenes has helped. We all want to see him play, he's been there before, he knows the environment, and it was really unfortunate the way he got injured.

Leading into a World Cup is something I can relate to as I broke my ankle at the end of the season in 1994. While I didn't miss any games I fought like hell to get back and regain selection. I spent the whole summer in a cast doing what I could to keep up my fitness levels so I could get back.

And Kerr-Barlow has clearly had a similar summer of rehab and getting everything right after what was a horrible injury. I wish him well but there is a lot of faith being shown in him by the selectors that he needs to repay and I've got no doubt he's been doing all the right things off the field.

The Hurricanes' James Broadhurst runs into space, Hurricanes v Stormers, Wellington, March 3, 2015
James Broadhurst 'has been an absolute Trojan' © Getty Images

In the team there is a lot of reward for form and I'm really pleased to see Nehe Milner-Skudder and Waisake Naholo in there. Naholo was just outstanding at the weekend and I think in this column we have pretty much had our finger on the pulse in the composition of the team. I think James Lowe had enjoyed a really good season but when your opponent scores two tries down your line, it makes it tough; Lowe may have been the person who Steve Hansen referred to as playing their way out of the side.

It was great to see Codie Taylor named, he's been a revelation for the Crusaders at hooker. He's the sort of player, given his age, who has a lot of developing to go and he's only going to get better. He may not make the World Cup but the sooner he's in that environment the better he is going to become.

And lock James Broadhurst has been an absolute Trojan, both for Taranaki in the ITM Cup last year and now the Hurricanes. He's been a form player and thoroughly deserves his selection. A player like Luke Romano, in the same position, probably needs to step up and recapture the sort of form we saw from him before his injury.

He will be under pressure, and I'm sure Steve Hansen will make that point when he tells them there are 10 of them who are not going to go to the World Cup.