Steve Hansen has announced his 39-man squad for the opening two games of this year’s shortened Rugby Championship and there are four new caps in it.
Along with those four there could be two new test capped players in Hurricanes hooker Asafo Aumua and Chiefs prop Atu Moli, who have both only played in non-test matches for the All Blacks.
Head coach Hansen took the time to congratulate the newcomers and the players who have been called up once more into the national side.
“On behalf of the selectors, we want to congratulate the four new All Blacks named today – Luke, Josh, Braydon and Sevu. They’ve all performed to very high levels this year and played some outstanding rugby. It’s a special time being named in the All Blacks for the first time and they and their families can be proud of what they’ve achieved. We also congratulate the returning All Blacks and commiserate with those players who haven’t been named. As always, history has shown us opportunities will arise,” he said.
The key names missing from the squad are Waisake Naholo, Liam Squire (excluded himself from selection), Nathan Harris, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi and Akira Ioane.
While Scott Barrett, Ryan Crotty, Tim Perry and Damien McKenzie are all absent through injury.
On the other hand, Chiefs halfback Brad Weber has received his first call up to the national side for four years following an impressive campaign.
Hansen is excited to have all the players together and at the possibility to claim a third Rugby World Cup in a row come the end of the year.
“It’s really exciting bringing the team together and we’re all looking forward to starting the work towards this year’s goals. We’re going to try and do something that’s never been done before and that’s to win three Rugby World Cups in a row. However, that’s not a given. We’re going to have to be hungry for success and we’re going to have to work incredibly hard and smart to achieve this. Whilst recapturing the Rugby World Cup and the Bledisloe Cup are two of the end goals for the year, we have to deal with the here and now, which is getting ready to face two quality oppositions in Argentina and South Africa,” he added.
The coach, who is set to step down from his post come the conclusion of the Rugby World Cup is also happy to have the opportunity to name a larger squad and be able to pick from a bigger pool of players.
“First and foremost, it allows us to pick a very strong squad for what will be a challenging first Test against Argentina in Buenos Aires, while at the same time giving most of the Crusaders players in the All Blacks a rest from what has been a very tough Super Rugby Finals campaign. For the new players, it allows us to meet them for the first time, introduce them to our environment and grow their understanding of their game and our game at international level,” he continued.
Hansen has his sights set on creating winning and attractive rugby during the first two games before having to narrow his squad down to 34-players for the side’s clash with Australia.
“The challenge and the aim of the first two matches is not only to play winning rugby but attractive, exciting rugby. To do this, we’ll have to quickly reconnect the players from the various Super Rugby clubs back into the All Blacks’ ways. We will need to master our game by improving our execution. To do this, our skillsets and decision making will be our key focus. Being a Rugby World Cup year, there’s a lot of excitement and anticipation from our many fans not only in New Zealand but also overseas. The squad is really looking forward to our fans’ support at all our Tests this year,” he finished.
Kieran Read will captain the team once more throughout their campaign as they hope to add yet another Rugby Championship title to their cabinet before setting off to Japan in search of another piece of history.
Check Out the Full 39-Man Squad Below.
Asafo Aumua (22, Hurricanes / Wellington, uncapped)
Beauden Barrett (32, Hurricanes / Wellington, 60)
Jordie Barrett (22, Hurricanes / Taranaki, 9)
GeorgeBridge (24, Crusaders / Canterbury, 1)
Sam Cane (27, Chiefs / Bay of Plenty, 60)
Dane Coles (32, Hurricanes / Wellington, 60)
Liam Coltman (29, Highlanders / Otago, 4)
Braydon Ennor (21, Crusaders / Canterbury, new cap)
Vaea Fifita (30, Crusaders / Canterbury, 108)
Owen Franks (31, Crusaders / Canterbury, 106)
Shannon Frizell (25, Highlanders / Tasman, 4)
Jack Goodhue (24, Crusaders / Northland, 7)
Jackson Hemopo (25, Highlanders / Manawatu, 3)
Josh Ioane (23, Highlanders / Otago, new cap)
Rieko Ioane (22, Blues / Auckland, 24)
Luke Jacobson (22, Chiefs / Waikato, new cap)
Nepo Laulala (27, Chiefs / Counties Manukau, 17)
Ngani Laumape (26, Hurricanes / Manawatu, 10)
Anton Lienert-Brown (24, Chiefs / Waikato, 33)
Atu Moli (24, Chiefs / Tasman, uncapped)
Joe Moody (30, Crusaders /Canterbury, 37)
Richie Mo’unga (25, Crusaders / Canterbury, 9)
Dalton Papali’i (21, Blues / Auckland, 2)
TJ Perenara (27, Hurricanes / Wellington, 55)
Kieran Read (c) (33, Crusaders / Counties Manukau, 118)
Sevu Reece (22, Crusaders / Waikato, new cap)
Brodie Retallick (28, Chiefs / Hawke’s Bay, 75)
Ardie Savea (25, Hurricanes / Wellington, 35)
Aaron Smith (30, Highlanders / Manawatu, 82)
Ben Smith (33, Highlanders /Otago, 76)
Angus Ta’avao (29, Chiefs / Taranaki, 3)
Codie Taylor (28, Crusaders / Canterbury, 41)
Matt Todd (31, Crusaders / Canterbury, 17)
Karl Tu’inukuafe (26, Blues / North Harbour, 13)
Patrick Tuipulotu (26, Blues / Auckland, 21)
Ofa Tu’ungafasi (27, Blues / Auckland, 26)
Brad Weber (28, Chiefs / Hawke’s Bay, 1)
Sam Whitelock (30, Crusaders / Canterbury, 108)
Sonny Bill Williams (33, Blues / Counties Manukau, 51)
Not considered for selection due to injury: Ryan Crotty, Scott Barrett, Tim Perry and Damian McKenzie.
Unavailable for selection: Liam Squire has also made himself unavailable as he felt he wasn’t ready to return to international rugby at this stage.
Cipriani Left Out of England Squad
Danny Cipriani has once again been omitted from an England training camp following a brief return to the international set-up
Cipriani was originally selected in Jones’ 35-man training squad for the World Cup, when it was named on July 4th.
However, last week he was named on a three-man list, along with Anthony Watson and Sam Underhill, of players that would do separate “specialised strength and conditioning work” away from the rest of the squad.
The problem for Cipriani is that those two players have been named as part of the squad that will travel to Treviso for the 12-day camp whereas he has been left at home.
Jones has stated that some players have been left behind but are not completely out of the selection picture for the World Cup.
“Selection is absolutely challenging, we have left some good players doing work at their clubs and they must be ready if called up. Treviso is a hard yards camp with conditions similar to Tokyo. Team training will be about being adaptable and off the field enjoying each other’s company,” he said.
Another high-profile absentee is Ben Moon, who has been overlooked for selection with Joe Marler and Ellis Genge travelling and looking almost certain to be Mako Vunipola’s back-ups at the World Cup.
On the other hand, Mike Brown has continued his international revival by being selected in the travelling party. Brown has been out of the English picture for some time now but appears to have impressed since being called-up last week.
England will name their final World Cup squad on August 12th with some key selections still to be made but things are not looking good for Cipriani at the moment.
Check Out the Full 38-Man Squad Below.
D Cole (Leicester Tigers), L Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs), T Curry (Sale Sharks), C Ewels (Bath Rugby), E Genge (Leicester Tigers), J George (Saracens), M Itoje (Saracens), G Kruis (Saracens), J Launchbury (Wasps), C Lawes (Northampton Saints), L Ludlam (Northampton Saints), J Marler (Harlequins), B Shields (Wasps), K Sinckler (Harlequins), J Singleton (Saracens), S Underhill (Bath Rugby), B Vunipola (Saracens), M Vunipola (Saracens), H Williams (Exeter Chiefs), M Wilson (Newcastle Falcons/Sale Sharks).
M Brown (Harlequins), J Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby), E Daly (Saracens), O Farrell (Saracens), G Ford (Leicester Tigers), P Francis (Northampton Saints), W Heinz (Gloucester Rugby), J Joseph (Bath Rugby), J Marchant (Harlequins), J May (Leicester Tigers), R McConnochie (Bath Rugby), J Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), H Slade (Exeter Chiefs), B Spencer (Saracens), B Te’o (unattached), M Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), A Watson (Bath Rugby), B Youngs (Leicester Tigers).
Pumas Star Out of Wallabies Clash
One of Argentina’s key players has been ruled out of the side’s match with the Wallabies this weekend
Argentinian hooker Augustin Creevy has been ruled out of this Saturday’s clash with the Wallabies with a shoulder injury.
Having played only 48-minutes of that match Creevy would have been in perfect condition to play in Brisbane but the shoulder injury is certain to keep him out of the clash.
However, all hope is far from lost as Julian Montoya will more than likely take his place and Montoya himself is arguably in the form of his life.
The Pumas put it up to the All Blacks with both hookers starring in their efforts and All Blacks captain Sam Cane was full of praise for the Pumas after his side’s win.
“The Pumas are very accurate, very good one-on-one defenders and make a nuisance at the breakdown. They might not pinch the most ball but they certainly know how to slow it down. Their ability to just get back on their feet and keep coming off the line shows real desire. They put us under pressure from the first whistle right up to the last second of the game,” he said.
The Wallabies will be wary of Cane’s comments following their 35-17 loss to the Springboks last Saturday and with the Pumas side full of Jaguares players and European stars vying for places at the World Cup.
Argentina will be looking to bounce back after missing out on their first ever win against the All Blacks and it appears as though even without Creevy they will be confident of heading to Brisbane and winning down under.
Springboks Name 36-Man Squad for All Blacks Test
South Africa have taken 36 players to New Zealand for their clash with the All Blacks this Saturday
Erasmus, coaching staff and a total of eight players left Johannesburg on Saturday following their 35-17 defeat of the Wallabies and left for New Zealand.
The players that left with Erasmus on Saturday were Eben Etzebeth, Jesse Kriel, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Rynhardt Elstadt, Trevor Nyakane, Elton Jantjies, Herschel Jantjies and Bongi Mbonambi.
Yesterday a further 10 players jetted off for New Zealand and are expected to train later today.
They joined-up with 14 players who were already in New Zealand, having been sent over last Thursday to begin their preparations for the All Blacks test.
As well as the 32 that have made their way over Lizo Gqoboka, Warrick Gelant, Marvin Orie and Andre Esterhuizen are to travel over in the coming days.
It appears as though Etzebeth will continue as captain after it was confirmed that regular captain Siya Kolisi has been ruled out of the remainder of the Rugby Championship campaign.
The Springboks will hope to cause an upset in New Zealand following their win on Saturday which has left them first in the standings after the round one fixtures.
Following their game on Saturday they will travel to Argentina, where they face the Pumas to conclude their shortened Rugby Championship campaign on August 10th.
Check Out the Full 36-Man Squad Below.
Schalk Brits (Vodacom Bulls), Marcell Coetzee (Ulster, Ireland), Lood de Jager (Vodacom Bulls), Thomas du Toit (Cell C Sharks), Pieter-Steph du Toit (DHL Stormers), Rynhardt Elstadt (Toulouse, France), Eben Etzebeth (DHL Stormers), Lizo Gqoboka (Vodacom Bulls), Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers), Vincent Koch (Saracens, England), Francois Louw (Bath, England), Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers), Malcolm Marx (Emirates Lions), Bongi Mbonambi (DHL Stormers), Tendai Mtawarira (Cell C Sharks), Franco Mostert (Gloucester, England), Trevor Nyakane (Vodacom Bulls), Marvin Orie (Emirates Lions), Kwagga Smith (Emirates Lions), RG Snyman (Vodacom Bulls), Duane Vermeulen (Vodacom Bulls).
Lukhanyo Am (Cell C Sharks), Damian de Allende (DHL Stormers), Faf de Klerk (Sale Sharks, England), Andre Esterhuizen (Cell C Sharks), Warrick Gelant (Vodacom Bulls), Elton Jantjies (Emirates Lions), Herschel Jantjies (DHL Stormers), Cheslin Kolbe (Toulouse, France), Jesse Kriel (Vodacom Bulls), Makazole Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks), Sbu Nkosi (Cell C Sharks), Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz, Japan), Handré Pollard (Vodacom Bulls), Cobus Reinach (Northampton Saints, England), Frans Steyn (Montpellier, France).
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