All Blacks coach Steve Hansen names first squad

The All Black selectors have named their first squad made up of 35 players who will attend two training camps ahead of the three Tests against Ireland.


The All Blacks selectors are made up of Coach Steve Hansen, Assistant Coach Ian Foster and fellow selector Grant Fox,


All Blacks Coach Steve Hansen said the camps would give the All Blacks coaching and management team valuable time with a core group of Test players as well as a number of new wider training group members, ahead of the All Blacks Steinlager Series of Tests against Ireland.


“We have two aims with the selection of the players for the camps. Our main aim is to begin to prepare a squad to win the Steinlager Series against Ireland; and secondly, it gives us the opportunity to introduce and work with some younger, talented players in the All Blacks environment,” Hansen said.


“In the wider training group we have a balance between proven Test players, in-form Super Rugby players and some talented, young players. This includes 21 players from the Rugby World Cup squad and, notably, six players from the 2011 Junior World Championship-winning New Zealand Under 20 team.


“We will use the time in the camps to work on some of the protocols, expectations and disciplines that are needed to succeed in the All Blacks, plus it will also give us a little bit of training time to work on some new things which we hope to bring in for the Tests against the Irish.”


The 30-man All Blacks squad for the Tests against Ireland will be named on Sunday 3 June.


The first wider training group camp will be held in Auckland from next Sunday 20 May – Tuesday 22 May with the second camp in Wellington from Sunday 27 May – Tuesday 29 May.


The 35 players attending the camps are as follows:


Blues
Charlie Faumuina, Ma’a Nonu, Keven Mealamu, Piri Weepu, Ali Williams and Tony Woodcock.


Chiefs
Sam Cane, Aaron Cruden, Richard Kahui, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Brodie Retallick, Ben Tameifuna and Sonny Bill Williams.


Hurricanes
Beauden Barrett, Cory Jane, Julian Savea, Brad Shields, Conrad Smith and Victor Vito.


Crusaders
Daniel Carter, Wyatt Crockett, Israel Dagg, Andy Ellis, Ben Franks, Owen Franks, Richie McCaw, Kieran Read, Luke Romano, Luke Whitelock and Samuel Whitelock.


Highlanders
Tamati Ellison, Andrew Hore, Aaron Smith, Ben Smith and Adam Thomson.

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