All Blacks name squad for Samoa

The All Blacks squad for the Samoa Test has been announced today by selectors Steve Hansen, Ian Foster and Grant Fox today.

Malakai Fekitoa and Charles Piutau were selected while Augustine Pulu was not picked due to injury.

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: “The selectors would like to congratulate those new All Blacks we have named today. It is always a proud moment when a player is named in the All Blacks for the first time and they have all worked incredibly hard to get here.

“As is always the case with squad selections, we also had to leave out some players who are unlucky not to be selected. They will get further opportunities to stake their claims in the NZ Maori and Barbarians sides which play next month.

“We have selected a large squad of 41 players, partly through necessity, with two New Zealand teams still involved in the Super Rugby competition. But, more importantly, it also gives us the chance to work with some athletes we haven’t worked with before and see how they cope at Test level. This will allow us to make better decisions when it comes to selecting our Rugby World Cup team in August. I would like to thank New Zealand Rugby and the Board for allowing us to pick a squad of this size.”

The full squad is as follows: (with Investec Super Rugby and provincial teams and Test caps. * indicates a new All Black).

Forwards:

Hookers

Dane Coles – Hurricanes / Wellington (27)

Hikawera Elliot – Chiefs / Poverty Bay (3)

Keven Mealamu – Blues / Auckland (123)

Codie Taylor – Crusaders / Canterbury *

 

Props

Wyatt Crockett – Crusaders / Canterbury (27)

Charlie Faumuina – Blues / Auckland (20)

Ben Franks – Hurricanes / Hawke’s Bay (31)

Owen Franks – Crusaders / Canterbury (57)

Joe Moody – Crusaders / Canterbury (8)

Tony Woodcock – Blues /North Harbour (110)

 

Locks

James Broadhurst – Hurricanes / Taranaki *

Brodie Retallick – Chiefs / Bay of Plenty (36)

Luke Romano – Crusaders / Canterbury (17)

Jeremy Thrush – Hurricanes / Wellington (11)

Samuel Whitelock – Crusaders / Canterbury (62)

 

Loose forwards

Sam Cane – Chiefs / Bay of Plenty (22)

Jerome Kaino – Blues /Auckland (56)

Richie McCaw (captain) – Crusaders / Canterbury (137)

Liam Messam – Chiefs / Waikato (40)

Kieran Read – Crusaders / Canterbury (72)

Matt Todd – Crusaders / Canterbury (2)

Victor Vito – Hurricanes / Wellington (26)

 

Backs:

Halfbacks

Tawera Kerr-Barlow – Chiefs / Waikato (15)

TJ Perenara – Hurricanes / Wellington (11)

Aaron Smith – Highlanders / Manawatu (38)

 

First five-eighths

Beauden Barrett – Hurricanes / Taranaki (28)

Daniel Carter – Crusaders / Canterbury (102)

Colin Slade – Crusaders /Canterbury (17)

Lima Sopoaga – Highlanders / Southland *

 

Midfielders

Ryan Crotty – Crusaders / Canterbury (13)

Malakai Fekitoa – Highlanders / Auckland (8)

Ma’a Nonu – Hurricanes / Wellington (94)

Conrad Smith – Hurricanes / Wellington (85)

Sonny Bill Williams – Chiefs / Counties Manukau (23)

 

Outside backs

Israel Dagg – Crusaders /Hawke’s Bay (46)

Cory Jane – Hurricanes / Wellington (48)

Nehe Milner-Skudder – Hurricanes / Manawatu *

Waisake Naholo – Highlanders / Taranaki *

Charles Piutau – Blues /Auckland (14)

Julian Savea – Hurricanes / Wellington (33)

Ben Smith – Highlanders / Otago (38)

The All Blacks squad will assemble on Auckland’s North Shore on Wednesday this week for a three-day camp minus the 18 players in the Hurricanes and Highlanders, who will be preparing for this weekend’s Super Rugby semifinal matches. Following the camp this week, the All Blacks will re-assemble in Auckland on Wednesday 1 July to prepare for the Test against Samoa.

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