All Blacks name Rugby Championship squad

by staff

Auckland prop Charlie Faumuina is the lone new cap in the All Blacks squad named to contest the inaugural Rugby Championship.

Faumuina, 25, has recovered from a calf injury and is one of five props included in the squad, taking the place of the uncapped Ben Tameifuna from the squad named for the series against Ireland in June.

There are few surprises in the 28-man group for the four-nations championship, although there is no official room for departing midfield back Sonny Bill Williams.

Williams has been named on standby and will be drafted into contention for the first two Tests against Australia on August 18 and August 25 in place of the injured Conrad Smith.

Smith, who is recovering from eye surgery, is one of three midfield backs named, but won't be available until at least the Test against Argentina in Wellington on September 8.

Like Faumuina, wing Cory Jane has overcome injury and been recalled to the squad, taking Zac Guildford's berth.

Six loose forwards have been named, creating room for in-form Chiefs co-captain Liam Messam.

Only three locks have been unveiled while Ali Williams continues his recovery from a knee injury.

Others listed as unavailable with injury are lock Anthony Boric (neck), flanker Jerome Kaino (shoulder), first five-eighth Colin Slade (leg) and centre Richard Kahui (shoulder).

All Blacks Squad

Backs: Israel Dagg, Cory Jane, Hosea Gear, Julian Savea, Ben Smith, Conrad Smith, Tamati Ellison, Ma'a Nonu, Dan Carter, Aaron Cruden, Piri Weepu, Aaron Smith.

Forwards: Kieran Read, Victor Vito, Richie McCaw (captain), Sam Cane, Adam Thomson, Liam Messam, Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick, Luke Romano, Tony Woodcock, Owen Franks, Ben Franks, Charlie Faumuina, Wyatt Crockett, Andrew Hore, Keven Mealamu.