Two new players have been called into the All Blacks squad for the Tri Nations tournament in Australia.
Otago and Crusaders 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.
George Bower Photo: Otago Rugby Union
Lock Mitchell Dunshea and midfielders Ngani Laumape and Peter Umaga-Jensen, who joined the All Blacks as cover during the Bledisloe Cup matches in New Zealand, remain with the 36-man squad headed for Australia on Sunday.
Savea and Laulala expected to join the squad in the following fortnight.
Three players from the squad will be in action in the Mitre 10 Cup 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 in Sydney on 31 October and in Brisbane on 7 November and against Argentina in Sydney on 14 November and in Newcastle on 28 November.
The All Blacks travelling squad for the Tri Nations:
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.
SOURCE – RADIO NZ