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Foster names 2022 All Blacks Rugby Championship squad

Stephen Perofeta of the Blues makes a break during the round eight Super Rugby match between the Chiefs and the Blues at Waikato Stadium

Stephen Perofeta of the Blues makes a break during the round eight Super Rugby match between the Chiefs and the Blues at Waikato Stadium

New Zealand head coach Ian Foster has named the following squad for the 2022 edition of the Rugby Championship.

The bulk of the Steinlager Series squad has been retained as the All Blacks set their sights on the Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup Tests.

The squad features the return of Highlanders forwards Ethan de Groot and Shannon Frizell, who have been selected in the full-time squad after providing injury cover during the Steinlager series against Ireland.

With Angus Ta’avao, Brodie Retallick and Jack Goodhue making their way back from suspension and injury, the All Blacks selectors have called in temporary cover.


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Braydon Ennor, Tyrel Lomax and the uncapped Josh Dickson will join the squad for the South African leg of the tournament.

Blues and Taranaki playmaker Stephen Perofeta is the only other uncapped player.

“We have taken on board the lessons from the recent series and are excited about looking forward to the next phase of our Test season,” said Foster.

“The Rugby Championship plus the Bledisloe Cup remain our top priorities. This is a real chance to show what we are about as a team.”

New Zealand Rugby CEO Mark Robinson also added: “The past fortnight has been a challenging time for us and of course our fans.

“There have been some thorough conversations this week, as there always are around our performance environments, and these will continue.

“It’s exciting to be heading back to South Africa for the first time in several years – we have two big games ahead of us there and our focus now is to support the team to improve performance and be successful.”

The All Blacks will have a two-day camp in Wellington next week before travelling to South Africa for back-to-back Tests against the Springboks.

The team then returns to New Zealand for two consecutive Tests against Argentina, in Christchurch and Hamilton. The final phase consists of two Bledisloe Tests against the Wallabies, split between Melbourne and Auckland.

The 36-strong squad is as follows: (Age, Super Rugby club, Test caps in brackets).

Forwards:
Hookers

Dane Coles (35, Hurricanes / Wellington, 81)
Samisoni Taukeiaho (24, Chiefs / Waikato, 11)
Codie Taylor (31, Crusaders / Canterbury, 69)

Props

Aidan Ross (26, Chiefs / Bay of Plenty, 1)
George Bower (30, Crusaders / Otago, 14)
Nepo Laulala (30, Blues / Counties Manukau, 41)
Ofa Tu’ungafasi (30, Blues / Northland, 47)
Ethan de Groot (23, Highlanders / Southland, 4)
Angus Ta’avao (32, Chiefs / Auckland, 22)

Locks

Scott Barrett (28, Crusaders / Taranaki, 50)
Brodie Retallick (31, Chiefs / Hawke’s Bay, 95)
Patrick Tuipulotu (29, Blues / Auckland, 42)
Tupou Vaa’i (22, Chiefs / Taranaki, 12)
Samuel Whitelock (33, Crusaders / Canterbury, 134)

Loose Forwards

Sam Cane – Captain (30, Chiefs / Bay of Plenty, 80)
Shannon Frizell (28, Highlanders / Tasman, 17)
Akira Ioane (27, Blues / Auckland, 14)
Dalton Papalii (24, Blues / Counties Manukau, 15)
Ardie Savea (28, Hurricanes / Wellington, 62)
Hoskins Sotutu (24, Blues / Counties Manukau, 10)

Backs:
Halfbacks

Finlay Christie (26, Blues / Tasman, 6)
Folau Fakatava (22, Highlanders / Hawke’s Bay, 2)
Aaron Smith (33, Highlanders / Manawatu, 105)

First five-eighths

Beauden Barrett (31, Blues / Taranaki, 104)
Richie Mo’unga (28, Crusaders / Canterbury, 35)
Stephen Perofeta (25, Blues / Taranaki *)

Midfielders

Jack Goodhue (27, Crusaders / Northland, 18)
David Havili (27, Crusaders / Tasman, 16)
Rieko Ioane (25, Blues / Auckland, 50)
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (29, Blues / Auckland, 1)
Quinn Tupaea (23, Chiefs / Waikato, 9)

Outside backs

Jordie Barrett (25, Hurricanes / Taranaki, 39)
Caleb Clarke (23, Blues / Auckland, 5)
Leicester Fainga’anuku (22, Crusaders / Tasman, 2)
Will Jordan (24, Crusaders / Tasman, 15)
Sevu Reece (25, Crusaders / Tasman, 20)

Replacement players travelling to South Africa:

Josh Dickson (27, Highlanders / Otago, *)
Braydon Ennor (25, Crusaders / Canterbury, 5)
Tyrel Lomax (26, Hurricanes / Tasman, 14)

Unavailable for selection due to injury – Joe Moody, Anton Lienert-Brown, Ethan Blackadder and Josh Lord. Unavailable for selection due to New Zealand Rugby return to play criteria – Damian McKenzie.

WEEK 1
SATURDAY 6 AUGUST South Africa vs All Blacks, 5:05 PM (3:05 AM SUNDAY 7 AUGUST NZT), MBOMBELA STADIUM, NELSPRUIT

WEEK 2
SATURDAY 13 AUGUST South Africa vs All Blacks, 5:05 PM (3:05 AM SUNDAY AUGUST 14 NZT), ELLIS PARK STADIUM, JOHANNESBURG

WEEK 3
SATURDAY 27 AUGUST All Blacks vs Argentina 7.45 PM, ORANGETHEORY STADIUM, CHRISTCHURCH

WEEK 4
SATURDAY 3 SEPTEMBER All Blacks vs Argentina, 7.05 PM, FMG STADIUM, HAMILTON

WEEK 5
THURSDAY 15 SEPTEMBER Australia vs All Blacks, 7:45 PM (9:45 PM NZT) MARVEL STADIUM, MELBOURNE

WEEK 6
SATURDAY 24 SEPTEMBER All Blacks vs Australia, 7.05 PM, EDEN PARK, AUCKLAND

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