Dane Coles gets call up to All Blacks camp

by RUGBY.com.au staff

Hurricanes hooker Dane Coles is the surprise inclusion in a 28-man All Blacks rugby training squad to prepare for the inaugural Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship.

The squad, which will gather in Wellington for two days this week, doesn't include any players from the Chiefs side who are contesting the Super Rugby final against the Sharks in Hamilton on Saturday.

Coach Steve Hansen has stuck largely by players involved in a similar squad in May but he had included uncapped Coles to add depth to his hooking options.

"We already know a lot about Keven Mealamu, Andrew Hore, Corey Flynn and Hika Elliot and now it's Dane Coles' chance to come into the All Blacks environment and gives us the opportunity to see him at closer quarters," Hansen said in a statement.

"We will mainly be looking to re-establish the way we do things in the All Blacks, and it'll also give those players who haven't played much rugby recently, the chance for a good hit-out."

The camp on Wednesday and Thursday will be followed by an All Blacks squad naming for the Rugby Championship on Sunday.

The All Blacks' first Test is against the Wallabies in Sydney on August 18.

Players attending the camp:

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

Hurricanes: Beauden Barrett, Dane Coles, Cory Jane, Julian Savea, Conrad Smith, Victor Vito.

Crusaders: Daniel Carter, Wyatt Crockett, Israel Dagg, Ben Franks, Owen Franks, Zac Guildford, Richie McCaw, Kieran Read, Luke Romano, Sam Whitelock.

Highlanders: Tamati Ellison, Hosea Gear, Andrew Hore, Aaron Smith, Ben Smith, Adam Thomson.