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All Blacks XV squad named

By Kim Ekin
(Photo by Lorenzo Di Cola/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The 30-strong All Blacks XV squad was selected by the All Blacks coaching team of Ian Foster, Joe Schmidt and Jason Ryan for the 2023 Lipovitan-D Challenge Cup against Japan XV and Brave Blossoms.

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The squad includes nine players with Test experience including Aidan Ross, Asafo Aumua, Akira Ioane, Pita Gus Sowakula, Brad Weber, Folau Fakatava, Stephen Perofeta, Brett Cameron and Jack Goodhue.

Following their inaugural Northern tour last year, Leon MacDonald has again been named as All Blacks XV Head Coach alongside Assistant Coaches Clayton McMillan and Scott Hansen.

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The 30-strong All Blacks XV squad is as follows (age, Super Rugby club, province):

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Jermaine Ainsley (28, Highlanders, Otago)
Oli Jager (27, Crusaders, Canterbury)
Tevita Mafileo (25, Hurricanes, Bay of Plenty)
Xavier Numia (24, Hurricanes, Wellington)
Aidan Ross (27, Chiefs, Bay of Plenty)

Hookers
Asafo Aumua (26, Hurricanes, Wellington)
Ricky Riccitelli (28, Blues, Taranaki)
Tyrone Thompson (23, Chiefs, Wellington)

Locks
Naitoa Ah Kuoi (23, Chiefs, Bay of Plenty)
Quinten Strange (26, Crusaders, Tasman)
Isaia Walker-Leawere (26, Hurricanes, Hawke’s Bay)

Loose Forwards
Billy Harmon (28, Highlanders, Canterbury)
Akira Ioane (28, Blues, Auckland)
Du’Plessis Kirifi (26, Hurricanes, Wellington)
Christian Lio-Willie (24, Crusaders, Otago)
Pita Gus Sowakula (28, Chiefs, Taranaki)
Cameron Suafoa (27, Blues, North Harbour)

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Halfbacks
Folau Fakatava (23, Highlanders, Hawke’s Bay)
Brad Weber (32, Chiefs, Hawke’s Bay)

First-five-eighths
Brett Cameron (26, Hurricanes, Manawat?)
Stephen Perofeta (26, Blues, Taranaki)

Midfielders
Jack Goodhue (27, Crusaders, Northland)
Alex Nankivell (26, Chiefs, Tasman)
Billy Proctor (24, Hurricanes, Wellington)
Bailyn Sullivan (24, Hurricanes, Waikato)

Outside Backs
Sam Gilbert (24, Highlanders, Otago)
AJ Lam (24, Blues, Auckland)
Ruben Love (22, Hurricanes, Wellington)
Etene Nanai-Seturo (23, Chiefs, Counties Manukau)
Jona Nareki (25, Highlanders, Otago)

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The All Blacks XV assemble on 29 June, travelling to Tokyo where they compete for the 2023 Lipovitan-D Challenge Cup kicking off Saturday 8 July, at Tokyo’s historic Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium in Tokyo before a second match on Saturday, July 15 at Egao Kenko Stadium in Kumamoto.

Via Press Release/All Blacks

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Comments

9 Comments
C
ColinK 395 days ago

I wonder what Hoskins Sotutu has done wrong? Not in the top two squads rather odd. Surely form is not the only factor here.

b
by George! 395 days ago

What did Tom Robinson do to not make this squad?

J
Jmann 395 days ago

Whilst the lossies and backs are world class the tight five is weak AF

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Turlough 5 hours ago
Jean de Villiers' three word response to 'best in the world' debate

This ‘raging’ debate is only happenning in media circles and has never been a topic in Ireland (although SA media are interested). It makes the media companies money I guess. SA are RWC champions and #1 ranked team although Ireland are back within a point there. The facts point to SA. For a lot of 2021 France beat ALL their rivals and Ireland similar in 2022-2023. It is not wrong to say that on such form either can be deemed to be the current best team if they have beaten all their rivals and ranked #1. The ‘have to have won a world cup’ stipulation is nonsense. The world cup draw and scheduling has been tailored to the traditional big teams since the start. The scheduling also which sees the big teams sheltered from playing a hard pool match the week before has also been a constant. It is extraordinary that for example France have made so many finals. Ireland who were realistically only contenders in 2023 were in a Pool with two other top 5 teams and had to play one of them 7 days before a quarter final against France or New Zealand. Always going to be a coin toss. Scotland’s situation was worse. New Zealand had great chances in 1995, 1999, 2007 but they could not win a tight RWC match. The first tight match they ever won was versus France in the 2011 final, literally they lost every other tight match before that. Some of those NZ teams around that era were #1 surely?

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