All Blacks squad named for Samoa Test and DHL New Zealand Lions Series
Two new All Blacks Jordie Barrett and Ngani Laumape selected
The All Blacks selectors, Steve Hansen, Ian Foster and Grant Fox, have selected their squad for the Pasifika Challenge Test against Samoa and the three Tests against the British & Irish Lions in the DHL New Zealand Lions Series.
The squad is as follows: (with province and Test caps in brackets. New caps are in bold.)
Dane Coles (Wellington, 49)
Codie Taylor (Canterbury, 15)
Nathan Harris (Bay of Plenty, 4)
Wyatt Crockett (Canterbury, 58)
Charlie Faumuina (Auckland, 46)
Owen Franks (Canterbury, 90)
Joe Moody (Canterbury, 24)
Ofa Tu’ungafasi (Auckland, 4)
Scott Barrett (Taranaki, 4)
Brodie Retallick (Hawke’s Bay, 60)
Luke Romano (Canterbury, 26)
Samuel Whitelock (Canterbury, 84)
Sam Cane (Bay of Plenty, 40)
Jerome Kaino (Auckland, 74)
Kieran Read, captain (Counties Manukau, 97)
Ardie Savea (Wellington, 12)
Liam Squire (Tasman, 8)
Tawera Kerr-Barlow (Waikato, 25)
TJ Perenara (Wellington, 29)
Aaron Smith (Manawatu, 58)
Beauden Barrett (Taranaki, 49)
Aaron Cruden (Manawatu, 47)
Lima Sopoaga (Southland, 6)
Ryan Crotty (Canterbury, 26)
Ngani Laumape (Manawatu, uncapped)
Anton Lienert-Brown (Waikato, 9)
Sonny Bill Williams (Counties Manukau, 33)
Jordie Barrett (Taranaki, uncapped)
Israel Dagg (Hawke’s Bay, 61)
Rieko Ioane (Auckland, 2)
Waisake Naholo (Taranaki, 12)
Julian Savea (Wellington, 52)
Ben Smith (Otago, 60)
The selectors have also named the following five players as injury cover: midfielder Jack Goodhue, hooker Liam Coltman and loose forwards Matt Todd, Vaea Fifita and Akira Ioane.
The key features of the 33-man squad are the selection of two new All Blacks: exciting young Hurricanes midfielder Ngani Laumape and talented teammate Jordie Barrett, who toured with the team as an apprentice on the All Blacks’ Northern Hemisphere Tour last year.
All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: “Firstly, on behalf of the All Blacks, the selectors would like to congratulate all players selected for the DHL New Zealand Lions Series, especially the new All Blacks.
“Obviously, it’s a very special occasion for the Barrett and Laumape families, with Jordie and Ngani being selected for the first time. Jordie has been in outstanding form, he has a skillset which is complete and has a great running and kicking game. Ngani too has been impressive throughout the Super season and has forced his way in through commanding performances,” Hansen said.
“This has been by far the toughest team that we’ve had to select for some time and some players who are in very good form missed out, and we always feel for them. But as is the nature of Test rugby I’m sure a number of them will get an opportunity, if not in this Series, then throughout the season.”
“We’re really appreciative of the opportunity to play Samoa first up. The Samoan game is ideal in preparing us for the challenge that comes with the Lions.
“We see the DHL New Zealand Lions Series as a great opportunity to gauge where we’re at from both an individual and a team perspective. As always, we’ll look forward to growing our game, as we know that if we don’t keep improving, others will go past us.
“We’re excited by the uniqueness that comes with playing a Lions Series as it only comes around every 12 years.”
The squad will again be captained by number eight Kieran Read with Ben Smith as Vice-Captain, and the makeup of the squad sees 17 forwards selected (three hookers, five props, four locks and five loose forwards) and 16 backs (three halfbacks, three first five-eighths, three midfielders and six outside backs) and has a total of 1,164 Test caps experience and an average of 35 Test caps per player.
Jordie, Beauden and Scott Barrett are the first sibling trio to be named in the same All Blacks squad and will be just the fourth set of three brothers to play for the All Blacks, following the Brownlie and Nicholls brothers in the 1920s and the Whitelocks in recent years.
The All Blacks squad has a Super Rugby mix of five Blues players, six Chiefs, seven Hurricanes, 10 Crusaders and five Highlanders, while 11 of New Zealand’s provincial unions are represented, with seven Canterbury players, four each from Wellington, Auckland and Taranaki, three from Manawatu, two each from Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay and Counties Manukau and one each from Southland, Otago and Tasman.
Mini biographies – Jordie Barrett and Ngani Laumape
Born into a rugby-mad family on 15 February 1997, 20-year-old Jordie Barrett is the younger brother of Hurricanes first-five Beauden and Crusaders lock Scott and is one of eight Barrett siblings. His Dad Kevin “Smiley” Barrett played 167 games for Taranaki and also played for the Hurricanes. Jordie has been tagged for big things since his days at Francis Douglas Memorial College. A talented fast bowler in cricket, good enough to be 12th man for the Central Stags after he left school, he chose rugby and headed down south to Lincoln University to study Commerce. It wasn’t long before the rangy utility found himself in the Canterbury representative system, the New Zealand Under 20s, and then in 2017, after just one year of Mitre 10 Cup rugby, in the Hurricanes. He also toured with the All Blacks as an apprentice in 2016. Barrett can play first-five, second-five or fullback as well as being a handy goal kicker.
Born on 22 April 1993 in Palmerston North, 24-year-old Ngani Laumape attended Palmerston North Boys’ High School. He toured the UK and Thailand with the school’s First XV and was selected to play second-five for the New Zealand Secondary Schools team in 2011. Despite his success, he made the decision to sign with the Warriors rugby league team when he left school and by 2014 he was an established starter in the squad. The following year he investigated a return to rugby and he made his Investec Super Rugby debut for the Hurricanes in the opening match of the 2016 season. He went on to make 11 appearances, including seven starts, to help the Hurricanes to the club’s inaugural Super Rugby title. His strong performances in 2017 saw him lead the competition early for line breaks and defenders beaten and he’s currently joint leader on the competition try scoring table with 14 tries.
ALL BLACKS v MANU SAMOA. Friday 16 June, 8.00PM, Eden Park, AUCKLAND
DHL New Zealand Lions Series – limited tickets still available
1. FIRST TEST. Saturday 24 June, 7.35PM, Eden Park, AUCKLAND
2. SECOND TEST. Saturday 1 July, 7.35PM, Westpac Stadium, WELLINGTON
3. THIRD TEST. Saturday 8 July, 7.35PM, Eden Park, AUCKLAND