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Bledisloe All Blacks squad named

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All Blacks squad named for Bledisloe series

The All Blacks squad for the two Bledisloe Cup Test matches in Perth and Auckland has been announced.

The squad is as follows:

Forwards

Hookers: Dane Coles, Liam Coltman and Codie Taylor.
Props: Owen Franks, Nepo Laulala, Joe Moody, Atu Moli, Angus Ta’avao and Ofa Tuungafasi.
Locks: Scott Barrett, Jackson Hemopo, Patrick Tuipulotu and Samuel Whitelock.
Loose forwards: Sam Cane, Vaea Fifita, Luke Jacobson, Kieran Read, Ardie Savea and Matt Todd.

Backs

Halfbacks: TJ Perenara, Aaron Smith and Brad Weber.
First five-eighths: Beauden Barrett and Richie Mo’unga.
Midfielders: Jack Goodhue, Ngani Laumape, Anton Lienert-Brown and Sonny Bill Williams.
Utility backs: Braydon Ennor and Jordie Barrett.
Outside backs: George Bridge, Rieko Ioane, Sevu Reece and Ben Smith.

The players who are missing that were included in the initial squad are: Asafo Aumua, Karl Tu’inukuafe, Brodie Retallick (injured), Dalton Papalii, Shannon Frizell and Josh Ioane.

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: “Bledisloe Cup Tests are always massive Tests. We know that the Wallabies will be confident after their win over Argentina and desperate to win this first match, so we’re looking forward to getting to Perth and getting into our Test preparation.

“The Bledisloe Cup is the second most important trophy for us, after the Rugby World Cup, and we’re really looking forward to the next two Tests coming up.  Two weeks together will give us solid preparation towards growing our game understanding and getting our execution honed, so that’s exciting.

“The last time the All Blacks played in Perth was way back in 1992 (against a Western Australia side) but this will be an historic first Test for us in the city, so we’re also looking forward to catching up with our fans over there.”

Hansen further added that first five-eighth Josh Ioane had also been invited to assemble with the squad to continue his development. Meanwhile, Nepo Laulala and Sonny Bill Williams will both play for Counties Manukau in a pre-Mitre 10 Cup season game on Saturday. Laulala will then join the squad in Perth, while Williams will stay and play Counties Manukau’s Mitre 10 Cup season opener on Saturday August 10, before joining the squad in Auckland for the second Bledisloe Cup Test week.

– New Zealand Rugby

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All Blacks squad named for Bledisloe series