All Blacks squad naming for England tour of New Zealand

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Jun 24, 2024, 07:24

Props: Ethan de Groot, Tyrel Lomax, Fletcher Newell, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Pasilio Tosi (uncapped), Tamaiti Williams

Hookers: Asafo Aumua, George Bell (uncapped), Codie Taylor

Locks: Scott Barrett, Patrick Tuipulotu, Tupou Vaa’i

Loose forwards: Ethan Blackadder, Samipeni Finau, Luke Jacobson, Dalton Papali’i, Ardie Savea, Wallace Sititi (uncapped)

Halfbacks: Finlay Christie, TJ Perenara, Cortez Ratima (uncapped)

First five-eighths: Beauden Barrett, Damian McKenzie

Midfielders: Jordie Barrett, Rieko Ioane, Anton Lienert-Brown, Billy Proctor (uncapped)

Outside backs: Caleb Clarke, Emoni Narawa, Stephen Perofeta, Sevu Reece, Mark Tele’a

Which Super Rugby side has the most players picked?

Unsurprisingly, it's the Blues, with nine. The Chiefs are next, with eight. The Crusaders and Hurricanes have seven each.

There's only one Highlander - Ethan de Groot.

06:25 pm
Robertson on new call-ups

“It’s a proud moment for them and their families," said Scott Robertson. 

"They’ve earned their places through performance and consistency and it’s an exciting time in their careers. 

"As coaches, we will get them ready so they can take their opportunity when it comes.”

06:10 pm
Four extra players

Just confirmed, four extra players will also help the team prepare as injury cover: 

Ruben Love, Sam Darry, George Bower and David Havili

06:05 pm
Who will start at fullback?

No Ruben Love or Shaun Stevenson as specialists leaves either Beauden Barrett and Stephen Perofeta as two possible options to wear No 15 against England.

Damian McKenzie could also slot in at the back, but has made it very clear he wants to be the All Blacks' first-five this year.

Will Jordan, who was expected to be Robertson's go-to at fullback, is currently injured. 

05:58 pm
Scott Barrett speaks

The new captain has spoken for the first time:

"I'm hugely honoured and grateful for the opportunity to captain the All Blacks," he told Sky.

"I understand it's a huge job, and there's a lot of pressure that goes with it. 

"But I'm excited to see where this team's going."

05:56 pm
Where is Sam Cane?

The former All Blacks captain suffered an injury while playing in Japan, and was not considered for selection. 

05:52 pm
Who's missed out?

There are some huge calls here.

Biggest of all is Hoskins Sotutu, who has been a standout for the Blues all year, but looks like he's been pipped by Sititi.

Ruben Love is another, who looked to have been the standout fullback in the competition. Stephen Perofeta has taken that spot in the squad.

Sam Darry can also consider himself unlucky, but only selecting three locks has been a big call. 

05:50 pm
Five new players

Pasilio Tosi is a bolter in every sense of the word. The 25-year-old has started just six games for the Hurricanes this season.

Wallace Sititi has peaked at the right time for the Chiefs, while George Bell and Cortez Ratima take the third hooker and halfback spots respectively.

Billy Proctor is the last new face, and comes into the squad at David Havili's expense. 

When is the All Blacks squad for England announced?

Scott Robertson’s first-ever All Blacks squad will be announced today at 5.30pm.

Who will be the All Blacks captain?

Coach “Razor” Robertson has indicated he’s told the next All Blacks captain of his incoming status. Still, he won’t confirm the anointed leader until unveiling his first national squad following the Super Rugby final.

Earlier this year, Sam Cane announced he won’t lead the side in 2024 before walking away from international rugby at the end of the year to take up a three-year contract in Japan with Suntory Sungoliath.

Scott Barrett and Ardie Savea are the leading contenders to grasp the captaincy role after Cane announced he was stepping aside.

“There’s been conversations and discussions that have been had with players,” Robertson said. “That’s all I can say. It will be announced when we name the team.”

Who do the players want to be captain?

Former skipper Kieran Read believes Scott Barrett’s existing relationship with the coach could be the decisive factor in determining who will be named as the next All Blacks captain.

Speaking to Newstalk ZB’s D’Arcy Waldegrave, Read outlined that despite the excellence of Savea, Barrett should be considered the front-runner for the job.

“It’s a tough one, both have great attributes,” the former captain said. “Scooter’s [Barrett] done it for a while with the Crusaders and been pretty successful. Ardie, I think, in terms of his ability to inspire and get players to follow him is pretty impressive in the All Blacks jersey.

“There’s a couple of pretty awesome options... It’s a hard call, I think potentially Scott Barrett if I’m thinking of someone, because of where he’s sat. He’s led a lot of teams, and the relationship with Razor probably leans it to him. But Ardie would be fantastic, right? He’s an amazing player and a great leader in his own way.”

Asked about his own desire to lead his country, Barrett admits he’d be willing to take on the role, even if it’s far from his thoughts at the moment, after sitting out the end of the Crusaders’ season following another back niggle against the Queensland Reds in early May.

“I guess that’s something I’d be open to,” Barrett professed. “But my focus right now is to get back on the park, if I’m going to be honest. It’d be a huge honour to do that, for whoever is in that position, I guess.

Jun 24, 2024, 07:30

All Blacks: Barrett the skipper as Razor rings the changes
2 hours ago

Jun 24, 2024, 07:33

Scott Barrett will succeed Sam Cane as All Blacks captain, with his main rival for the role, Ardie Savea, and brother Jordie selected as vice-captains by new head coach Scott Robertson.

Barrett's recognition brings to an end months of speculation, and while Savea's vice-captaincy role is not necessarily a surprise, Jordie's is and it underlines the 27-year-old's growing importance in the midfield.

The other main talking point of Robertson's 32-man squad for next month's three Tests is the addition of five uncapped players, including Hurricanes prop Pasilio Tosi, a genuine bolter who few saw coming.

The 25-year-old Tosi, a No.8 before his Invercargill Marist club team turned him into a prop several years ago, joins Hurricanes teammate and midfielder Billy Proctor, Crusaders hooker George Bell, Chiefs No.8 Wallace Sititi, and Chiefs halfback Cortez Ratima as newcomers.

There is no room for Blues loose forward Hoskins Sotutu or Chiefs outside backs Shaun Stevenson and Etene Nanai-Seturo.

Blues lock Sam Darry, Hurricanes outside back Ruben Love and the Crusaders pair of prop George Bower and midfielder David Havili will also assemble with the squad as cover.

Robertson and his assistants have named only three locks - skipper Barrett, Patrick Tuipulotu and Tupou Vaa'i.

The All Blacks play two Tests against England in Dunedin and Auckland, and one against Fiji in San Diego.

Scott Barrett, 30, will become the 81st man to captain the All Blacks in a Test and said it was a humbling experience.

“When you think of the leaders who have gone before you, it’s quite humbling to be asked to captain the All Blacks, so it’s not something I took lightly. It’s a big responsibility, but I have two great leaders beside me in Ardie and Jordie, and I know we’ll have the full backing of the coaches,” Barrett said.

Robertson said his long-standing relationship with Scott Barrett was a factor in his choice of captain.

“There are some great leaders in our group, but having that existing connection to Scott was important. He’s tactically astute, he leads from the front, and he’s got the respect of the players and coaches. Leadership is a shared responsibility and Ardie, Jordie and our wider leadership group will be crucial to how we come together and connect ahead of the first Test against England.

“As a coaching group, we are excited about the squad we’ve selected. We know it’s a group that can play the style of rugby we want the All Blacks to play in 2024.”

Robertson also congratulated the five uncapped players in the squad. Sititi, 21, is the youngest player in the squad.

“It’s a proud moment for them and their families. They’ve earned their places through performance and consistency and it’s an exciting time in their careers. As coaches, we will get them ready so they can take their opportunity when it comes.”

The All Blacks squad will assemble in Wellington on Wednesday. The first Test against England under the roof in Dunedin is on July 6.

Cane, Will Jordan, Samisoni Taukei’aho and Cam Roigard were not considered due to injury.

Now that Robertson has named his squad, the intrigue will centre on his game-day selections, with Damian McKenzie likely at No.10 and Beauden Barrett at fullback.

The other is how the All Blacks will attack. Robertson believes the side became slightly predictable last year, although they almost triumphed on the biggest stage against all the odds.

The All Blacks were thrashed by South Africa in a World Cup warm-up game at Twickenham last year before losing their first ever pool match to France but almost won the thing despite playing with only 14 men for more than half the grand final, the Boks holding on to win 12-11.

Prop Pasilio Tosi celebrates his try for the Hurricanes against the Reds this season - he has more to cheer about now.

Prop Pasilio Tosi celebrates his try for the Hurricanes against the Reds this season - he has more to cheer about now. (Source: Photosport)

Jun 24, 2024, 07:36

Sotutu pipped by Sititi.

Jun 24, 2024, 08:20

Sotutu pipped by Sititi.

Blues Superugby winners ................. rewarded with only 3 forwards selected (squad of 18)

Have a look at semi.... Canes  vs  Chiefs ......... Sititi was brilliant

nevertheless I'm surprised at Sotutu's omission.

Jun 24, 2024, 08:36

Yeah I'm totally out of the loop with NZ rugby, the similarity of the names competing for the same position was just funny to me.

Jun 24, 2024, 08:47

Sititi's father played for Samoa

Sotutu's father played for Fiji

PUKEKOHE, NEW ZEALAND - JULY 24:  Assistant coach of Counties Manukau Heat Waisake Sotutu before the round two Farah Palmer Cup match between Counties Manukau and Wellington at Navigation Homes Stadium, on July 24, 2022, in Pukekohe, New Zealand. (Photo by Dave Rowland/Getty Images)
Waisake Sotutu

Jun 25, 2024, 21:51

Over all no surprises but Havilli was absolute mud for us this year and have no idea why he is in our wider training group. Hopefully Sammy T is available soon because if we are relying on Bell in the last 20 minutes of a test match against your lot we are toast :(

Jun 25, 2024, 22:06

Sotutu is not up to it.

He has massive attitude problems.

Jun 25, 2024, 22:11

Three locks…..seems a bit of a risk in a position that suffers the most  from the changing of the guard.

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