There were no surprises in the All Blacks' line-up for their first Rugby World Cup clash with the Springboks despite Rieko Ioane's name being absent from today's team list. That’s according to TVNZ's Front Row panel.
1 NEWS Sport presenter Andrew Saville and 1 NEWS reporter Kimberlee Downs were at the announcement of the 23-man squad in Tokyo yesterday.
Saville said there were no surprises in yesterday’s announcement with the All Blacks management making predictable picks such as lock Scott Barrett.
But the team naming saw some of the All Blacks' younger players get a call up to play in their first Rugby World Cup.
“What an opportunity for Bridge and Sevu Reece," Saville said.
"Apart from a World Cup final and big play-off it doesn’t get much bigger than this for an opening pool match against South Africa for these two young men."
A name missing from the list of players was Rieko Ioane but Saville said there was plenty of time for the Auckland wing to get back on track.
“I think he’ll be okay – he’ll be disappointed, but to me he’s always struck me as being a mature, young man with a really good head on his shoulders, but he will want to win his spot back.
“What I think is that he went a bit into a football funk.
“The problem with the timing is his funk hit as Bridge and Reece went through the roof and now, he can’t get his position back.”
However, Saville says he’s not ruling Ioane out for the rest of the tournament.
For more of the team's analysis watch the full video above.