The All Blacks squad which will travel to Australia for the Investec Tri Nations tournament, has been named, with two new players called into the squad as cover.
Otago prop George Bower and Wellington loose forward and captain Du’Plessis Kirifi will join the squad as prop and loose forward cover respectively, with prop Joe Moody going through HIA (head injury assessment) protocols and fellow prop Nepo Laulala on paternity leave, while loose forward Ardie Savea is also on paternity leave.
The squad also features the inclusion of lock Mitchell Dunshea and midfielders Ngani Laumape and Peter Umaga-Jensen who have already assembled with the All Blacks as cover.
The All Blacks will travel with 36 players initially to Australia on Sunday, with Savea and Laulala expected to join the squad in the following week or two.
Meanwhile, three players have been released to play Mitre 10 Cup rugby this weekend. Dunshea and loose forward Cullen Grace will be available for Canterbury’s game against Bay of Plenty in Tauranga on Saturday afternoon, with loose forward Akira Ioane available for Auckland’s match against North Harbour in Auckland on Saturday night.
The All Blacks will play two Bledisloe Cup / Tri Nations matches against Australia at ANZ Stadium, Sydney, on Saturday October 31 (Kick-off: 7.50PM AEDT, 9.50PM NZT) and Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, on November 7 (Kick-off: 6.45PM AEST, 9.45PM NZT), before the first game against Argentina at Bankwest Stadium, Sydney, on Saturday 14 November (Kick-off: 5.10PM AEDT, 7.10PM NZT). The All Blacks will then have a bye weekend before the second Test against Argentina at McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle, on Saturday 28 November (Kick-off: 7.45PM AEDT, 9.45PM NZT).
The All Blacks travelling squad for the Investec Tri Nations is as follows:
Hookers: Asafo Aumua, Dane Coles and Codie Taylor.
Props: George Bower, Alex Hodgman, Nepo Laulala, Tyrel Lomax, Joe Moody, Karl Tu’inukuafe, and Ofa Tuungafasi.
Locks: Scott Barrett, Mitchell Dunshea, Patrick Tuipulotu, Tupou Vaa’i and Samuel Whitelock.
Loose Forwards: Sam Cane, Shannon Frizell, Cullen Grace, Akira Ioane, Du’Plessis Kirifi, Dalton Papalii, Ardie Savea and Hoskins Sotutu.
Halfbacks: TJ Perenara, Aaron Smith and Brad Weber.
First five-eighths: Beauden Barrett and Richie Mo’unga.
Midfielders: Jack Goodhue, Rieko Ioane, Ngani Laumape, Anton Lienert-Brown and Peter Umaga-Jensen.
Outside backs: Jordie Barrett, Caleb Clarke, Will Jordan, Damian McKenzie and Sevu Reece.