Rugby Championship News

AB’s Announce Squad for Iveco Series and Tri Nations





All Blacks coach Graham Henry and his assistant coaches Wayne Smith and Steve Hansen and fellow selector, Sir Brian Lochore, have announced the following All Blacks squad for the 2007 Iveco Series and Philips Tri Nations:

The squad includes two first-time selections in Waikato halfback Brendon Leonard and Wellington prop John Schwalger.

“Brendon has been the best attacking halfback in the Rebel Sport Super 14 this season and has forced his way into the side based on form,” said Henry “while John’s ability to play both sides of the scrum was a key factor for us.”

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The 22-year-old Leonard made his provincial debut in 2005 and his first Chiefs start this year. Schwalger also started his provincial career in 2005 and played for the Hurricanes in 2006 as well as 2007. He also represented New Zealand Under 21 in 2004 and the Junior All Blacks last season.

Henry noted that the upcoming Iveco Series Tests against France and Canada were critical to the All Blacks season: “We’re focused on finding our form as fast as possible and then we want to build on it. We are looking to improve on where we were last year and there’s a lot of work to do.”

Of the 2006 All Blacks, locks Jason Eaton and James Ryan, who took part in last November’s tour to Europe, were unavailable for selection due to injury, and prop Greg Somerville continues to rehabilitate an achilles injury sustained during last year’s Philips Tri Nations.

Meanwhile, Rebel Sport Super 14 loose forward Sione Lauaki and centre Richard Kahui were not considered for selection due to injury.

All Black Squad

Dan Carter – Canterbury
Jerry Collins – Wellington
Nick Evans – Otago
Troy Flavell – Auckland
Carl Hayman – Otago
Andrew Hore – Taranaki
Doug Howlett – Auckland
Chris Jack – Tasman
Byron Kelleher – Waikato
Brendon Leonard – Waikato
Luke McAlister – North Harbour
Richie McCaw – Canterbury (Captain)
Leon MacDonald – Canterbury
Chris Masoe – Wellington
Aaron Mauger – Canterbury
Keven Mealamu – Auckland
Malili Muliaina – Waikato
Anton Oliver – Otago
Keith Robinson – Waikato
Josevata Rokocoko – Auckland
John Schwalger – Wellington
Sitiveni Sivivatu – Waikato
Conrad Smith – Wellington
Rodney So’oialo – Wellington
Reuben Thorne – Canterbury
Neemia Tialata – Wellington
Isaia Toeava – Auckland
Piri Weepu – Wellington
Ali Williams – Auckland
Tony Woodcock – North Harbour

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