Three new All Blacks were named in a 39 strong squad and Jerry Collins was named as captain of the All Blacks in their match against Argentina on June 24.
Some of the new caps are wing Scott Hamilton of Canterbury, prop Clarke Dermody of Southland and South African-born lock Greg Rawlinson of North Harbour. Henry said Hamilton’s selection was a reward for his consistent play with the Crusaders and Canterbury.
All Blacks coach Graham Henry said Collins has been an outstanding player in the side and had been instrumental in achieving the results in the series against the British and Irish Lions, the Tri-Nations and last year’s Grand Slam tour of Britain.
“I don’t think we would have won at Twickenham without him,” Henry said. “He leads by example. He captained his club side by example and we need him to grow from this,” he said.
Henry said that injured players such as centre Conrad Smith, first five-eighth Nick Evans, flankers Sione Lauaki and Angus Macdonald and lock James Ryan would also have been considered had they been available.
Injuries to wing Sitiveni Sivivatu (knee) and prop Tony Woodcock (calf) mean they would only be considered for the Argentine match.
The starting XV for the Argentine Test will be:
Leon MacDonald, Rico Gear, Isaia Toeava, Sam Tuitupou, Sitiveni Sivivatu, Dan Carter, Piri Weepu, Mose Tuiali’i Chris Masoe, Jerry Collins (Captain), Chris Jack, Jason Eaton, Greg Somerville, Anton Oliver, Tony Woodcock.
The players who train for two tests against Ireland, in Hamilton on June 10 and in Auckland on June 17, are:
Jimmy Cowan, Clarke Dermody, Troy Flavell, Scott Hamilton, Carl Hayman, David Hill, Marty Holah, Andrew Hore, Doug Howlett, Jerome Kaino, Byron Kelleher, Casey Laulala, Luke McAlister, Richie McCaw, Aaron Mauger, Keven Mealamu, Mils Muliaina, Craig Newby, Ma’a Nonu, Anton Oliver, Greg Rawlinson, Joe Rokocoko, Rodney So’oialo, Neemia Tialata, Ali Williams.