All Blacks Coach Graham Henry and his Assistant Coaches Steve Hansen and Wayne Smith have named their 25–man squad which will be travelling to South Africa for the Castrol Edge Tri Nations Test against South Africa in Port Elizabeth on 20 August.
Forwards: John Afoa, Wyatt Crockett, Ben Franks, Jarrad Hoeata *, Andrew Hore, Jerome Kaino, Keven Mealamu, Liam Messam, Adam Thomson, Samuel Whitelock, Ali Williams, Tony Woodcock and Victor Vito.
Backs: Jimmy Cowan, Israel Dagg, Andy Ellis, Hosea Gear, Zac Guildford, Richard Kahui, Cory Jane, Ma’a Nonu, Colin Slade, Isaia Toeava, Piri Weepu and Sonny Bill Williams.
The squad is made up of 13 forwards and 12 backs and will be captained by 84–Test hooker Keven Mealamu.
All Blacks Coach Graham Henry said: “As with any All Blacks side, the coaches and players set high expectations and the squad which is heading to South Africa is no different.”
“There is real excitement amongst the squad. We have players returning from injury who will be playing for the All Blacks for the first time this year, while others will be looking to take the opportunity to stake a further claim in the black jersey and ensure selection in the Rugby World Cup, so we will have a team which is hungry to play well.”
The All Blacks squad leaves for South Africa tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Israel Dagg and Zac Guildford will stay home an extra day to play for Hawke’s Bay in their ITM Cup match against Bay of Plenty in Rotorua tomorrow, and travel to South Africa on Sunday morning.