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Four Uncapped Players in All Blacks Squad

Steve Hansen has named his 39-man squad for the Rugby Championship and there are some big names missing

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(Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

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.

Chiefs loose forward Luke Jacobson, Highlanders Josh Ioane and Crusaders duo Braydon Ennor and Sevu Reece have all been called up for the first time.

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.


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Barrett eager to take chance in 12 jersey

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All Black Jordie Barrett has been hanging out for the chance to play second five-eighths in Test matches, and last week’s double whammy of injuries in the position has provided him with a start against Australia in the Lipovitan-D Rugby Championship Test at Eden Park on Saturday.

The injuries David Havili and Quinn Tupaea suffered within minutes of each other in Melbourne have provided him with that opportunity in the most important game of the season, with the Rugby Championship possibly on the line.

 

Barrett said playing second five-eighths for the All Blacks was a challenge he had been waiting for, for some time.

 

“I’m comfortable with playing 12, it just presents another challenge at this level. I got a bit of a taste last week. It’s another Test, at Eden Park against an Aussie side that’s hurting so I’m expecting a bit of traffic.”

 

Centre Rieko Ioane had some empathy with Barrett having had to wait to play his preferred position of centre rather than wing. He described them as ‘a couple of misfits’ in midfield.

 

Training had gone well for both of them, and he said the fact Barrett was a good talker made Ioane’s job a lot easier.

 

 

“Jordie’s a good carrier, he’s got a good pass-kick skill set which is good, it provides another threat to our backline, and just the skills from the back. Coming from fullback you need that vision. With David [Havili] and Quinn [Tupaea] having gone down, he slots in perfectly to suit our backline.”

 

Ioane said he felt the defensive difference from wing to centre was what had taken him time to adjust. Being a wing, he knew what he wanted from a centre and vice versa. And, as an outside back, Jordie Barrett knew what his outsides would be looking for from a second five-eighths.

 

Ioane said midfield replacement and Blues teammate Roger Tuivasa-Sheck hadn’t played a lot for the All Blacks this season, but he was learning as much as possible at training.

 

Playing for Auckland and time spent with the All Blacks’ second five-eighths would only accelerate his adaption, and Ioane said he was excited about what he will bring when playing on Saturday.

 

Barrett said consistency was something the All Blacks chased all the time, and the truth was they hadn’t been as proud as they might have been about their play in recent times.

 

They wanted to get better every week, and another big challenge lay ahead this week.

 

Ioane said: “Australia will be a better side than they were last week. I think both teams are looking to do that. We’re expecting more of last week but at a high intensity.

 

“Being back at home, we want to lift and play the game that we should have ended on last week.”

Content & Images from – New Zealand Rugby


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PREVIEW: All Blacks v Australia Second Test (Eden Park)

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With the Bledisloe Cup wrapped up for 2022, the Lipovitan-D Rugby Championship and a 28-year unbeaten streak at Eden Park are on the line on Saturday night.

Match details: All Blacks v Australia, Saturday 24 September, 7.05pm NZT, Eden Park, Auckland

 

Played: 174

Won: All Blacks 121, Australia 45, Drawn 8

Last time: All Blacks 39, Australia 37 (15 September 2022)

Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)

INTERNATIONAL BROADCAST DETAILS

 

CH, CH, CHANGES

Injuries have forced changes to the team that defeated Australia in Melbourne, with captain Sam Cane, Scott Barrett, David Havili and Quinn Tupaea unavailable for selection. Sam Whitelock will lead a side which has welcomed No.8 Ardie Savea back from parental leave. He will slot into a loose forward trio featuring Dalton Papali’i at openside flanker and Akira Ioane on the blindside. With Havili and Tupaea out of the midfield selection frame, the All Blacks have retained a key combination that finished the Test in Melbourne. Jordie Barrett will play second-five eighths while brother Beauden will stay at fullback. The front row sees experienced hooker Codie Taylor selected in the run-on side while Samisoni Taukei’aho will provide cover, alongside props Ofa Tu’ungafasi and Nepo Laulala. Lock Tupou Vaa’i, midfielder Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and outside back Sevu Reece are the other new faces added to the reserves.

 

 

TITLE PERMUTATIONS

With one round remaining in the Lipovitan-D Rugby Championship, all four teams are still in the running to clinch the title. The All Blacks are currently at the top of the ladder due to a better points differential than South Africa who are also on 14 points. The All Blacks will be searching for a bonus point win over the Wallabies to give them the best shot of winning the title. If the All Blacks and South Africa end the competition tied on points, it will come down to who has the best points differential between the sides. For Australia to win the title, they would need to beat the All Blacks with a bonus point and then hope that Argentina tip over South Africa in Durban and deny them a bonus point.  The longest shot to win the title is Argentina who would first need Australia to defeat the All Blacks with neither team picking up a bonus point. From there they would have to secure a bonus point win and hope their points differential is better than the All Blacks and South Africa who they would be equal with on 14 points.

FINALS MENTALITY

There’s no bigger occasion in New Zealand rugby than a packed house at Eden Park for a Test match against the old foe. Although the Bledisloe Cup is already locked away in the trophy cabinet for another year, the All Blacks are treating the game like a final with the Rugby Championship title at stake. Forwards coach Jason Ryan said the side had prepared all week as though they were going into a sudden-death final. “It’s a New Zealand-Australia Test match at Eden Park. There’s a lot on the line, and we’re treating it as a final. We’ve prepared accordingly to expect that,” Ryan said.

 

WALLABIES BELIEF

Australia may not have won in Auckland against the All Blacks since 1986, but they believe they can storm the New Zealand fortress to claim a win and give themselves a mathematical chance of claiming the Championship. Former Bay of Plenty mid-fielder Lalakai Foketi said the Wallabies had to dig deep when down 31-13 in Melbourne and would take that momentum into the Eden Park clash. “Out there, there was no feeling of disbelief or thought the All Blacks were going to run away with it,” Foketi said. “It was just the belief and the leaders, especially Nard [Foley] coming in, staying controlled, and giving us our next role. I felt like we were still in good stead to keep doing what we were doing and keep in the game.”

 

SHARP SHOOTERS

Discipline will be key for the All Blacks at Eden Park given the Wallabies hot form from the kicking tee in 2022. The Wallabies goal-kicking success rate of 92% this year is 11 percentage points higher than any other Tier One nation and 14 percentage points higher than the All Blacks. Bernard Foley will assume kicking duties for Australia with accomplished kickers Nic White and Reece Hodge on the bench.

 

 

TEAMS (Test caps in brackets):

 

All Blacks

 

1: Ethan de Groot (9) 2: Codie Taylor (71) 3: Tyrel Lomax (19) 4: Brodie Retallick (97) 5: Samuel Whitelock (139) – Captain 6: Akira Ioane (18) 7: Dalton Papali’i (17) 8: Ardie Savea (66) 9: Aaron Smith (110) 10: Richie Mo’unga (40) 11: Caleb Clarke (10) 12: Jordie Barrett (44) 13: Rieko Ioane (55) 14: Will Jordan (20) 15: Beauden Barrett (108)

 

RESERVES: 16: Samisoni Taukei’aho (16) 17: Ofa Tu’ungfasi (47) 18: Nepo Laulala (41) 19: Tupou Vaa’i (14) 20: Hoskins Sotutu (11) 21: Finlay Christie (11) 22: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (1) 23: Sevu Reece (20)

 

Australia

 

1: James Slipper (c) (122) 2: David Porecki (6) 3: Allan Alaalatoa (59) 4: Jed Holloway (5) 5: Cadeyrn Neville (2) 6: Rob Valetini (26) 7: Pete Samu (27) 8: Harry Wilson (11) 9: Jake Gordon (15) 10: Bernard Foley (72) 11: Marika Koroibete (50) 12: Lalakai Foketi (3) 13: Len Ikitau (19) 14: Tom Wright (17) 15: Andrew Kellaway (17)

 

RESERVES: 16: Folau Fainga’a (32) 17: Angus Bell (19) 18: Pone Fa’amausili (2) 19: Nick Frost (4) 20: Fraser McReight (7) 21: Nic White (55) 22: Reece Hodge (59) 23: Jordan Petaia (21)

Content & Images from – New Zealand Rugby


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Re-jigged loose forward combination up for the challenge

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A changed All Blacks loose forward combination of Dalton Papali’i, Akira Ioane, and Ardie Savea will seek to regain lost ground to Australia in that part of their game in the Lipovitan-D Rugby Championship finale at Eden Park on Saturday.

Ioane said Australia’s loose forwards were impressive in Melbourne and as a changed New Zealand combination, they had to focus on doing their job for the All Blacks. If magic moments happened, hopefully, they were on the right side of them.

 

By doing their job, Ioane and Papali’i would allow returning No8 Savea to play in the manner that made him so dangerous.

 

“I’m looking forward to what we can do on Saturday night,” Papali’i said.

 

The All Blacks were leaving no stone unturned in their preparation as they expected a strong response from Australia to their 37-39 loss in Melbourne last week.

 

Ioane said it was always special to get a start in a Test, and he acknowledged how well Shannon Frizell and Scott Barrett [both injured] had been playing this season.

 

“You can’t be mad at the coaches for that. I’ve just got to take my opportunities this week, give my best for the team and do my job,” he said.

 

Papali’i offered a forward’s perspective on the development of midfield replacement Roger Tuivasa-Sheck this year.

 

 

He had grown massively in the All Blacks environment and was a sponge from the time he joined the side, soaking up all the players had to give and share.

 

“Now he’s at the stage where he’s helping us out with things with his ideas and pointers to make us better.”

 

Tuivasa-Sheck had adopted a team-first attitude, and if he wasn’t in a team, he set about doing his bit to have the 23 named players ready for game-day action, he said.

 

The losses the All Blacks have suffered in 2022 had been something of a blessing in disguise from Papali’i’s point of view. They came into a team with a winning mentality but having losses this year was something new for the younger players to cope with, something those players, and New Zealand fans, were not used to.

 

“It’s us finding our feet again with a lot of new blood coming in and some boys getting more opportunities. I think it’s more of a wake-up call. This is Test footy. This is the best of the best, and you can’t leave any stone unturned training-wise.

 

“You’ve got to nail your one and two percenters off field leading into games and that is where it all matters. I think it has been a good learning curve for us.”

Content & Images from – New Zealand Rugby


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