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All Blacks include all three Smith’s for trip to SA

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New Zealand’s All Blacks have announced a 31-man squad that will travel to South Africa for the Rugby Championship Test against South Africa in Johannesburg next weekend.

The squad includes Highlanders Super Rugby winners Aaron Smith, Ben Smith and Hurricanes midfielder Conrad Smith and hooker Dane Coles who all missed last week’s match against Argentina.

All Black stars Dan Carter and Sonny Bill Williams have however both been left out of the squad.

The squad flew out to South Africa on Saturday morning, stopping over in Sydney before arriving in Johannesburg on Sunday evening. The All Blacks play South Africa at Ellis Park on Saturday 25 July.

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said,”In deciding on the squad to travel to South Africa, the selectors based their selections on three criteria. “

“Firstly, we have picked experienced players who are well aware of the challenge of playing South Africa at home. Secondly, we want to give some other players the opportunity to see how they cope under the extreme pressure of playing South Africa; and thirdly, we took into consideration the fact that some players in the squad could do with having a break for various reasons, so they will be staying home to freshen up.”

The New Zealand travelling squad is as follows:

Hookers: Dane Coles, Keven Mealamu and Codie Taylor
Props: Wyatt Crockett, Ben Franks, Owen Franks, Nepo Laulala and Tony Woodcock
Locks: James Broadhurst, Brodie Retallick, Luke Romano and Samuel Whitelock
Loose forwards: Jerome Kaino, Richie McCaw, Liam Messam, Kieran Read and Victor Vito
Halfbacks: Andy Ellis, TJ Perenara and Aaron Smith
First five-eighths: Beauden Barrett, Colin Slade and Lima Sopoaga
Midfielders: Ryan Crotty, Malakai Fekitoa, Ma’a Nonu and Conrad Smith
Outside backs: Israel Dagg, Charles Piutau, Julian Savea and Ben Smith

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