All Blacks reveal squad for 'tour like no other' minus key players
SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: The All Blacks squad has assembled in Auckland on Thursday to fly to Australia for the Rugby Championship and then onto the Northern Tour to the USA and Europe.
The All Blacks will leave several leading players behind in New Zealand when they travel to Perth ahead of next weekend’s clash against the Wallabies.
Stand-in captain Sam Whitelock, scrumhalf Aaron Smith and flyhalf Richie Mo’unga have been left out of the 35-strong travelling squad.
All three are on paternity leave.
Hooker Codie Taylor is expected to replace Whitelock as captain as the All Blacks attempt to sweep the series 3-0.
Whitelock took over in New Zealand’s five Tests this season from regular captain Sam Cane, who is recovering from a pectoral injury.
Hooker Dane Coles also has been omitted from the travelling squad because of a calf muscle injury.
Whitelock, Smith and Mo’unga are expected to rejoin the New Zealand team for matches next month in the Rugby Championship, depending on quarantine and other issues.
Beauden Barrett is the only specialist flyhalf in the squad named on Thursday by head coach Ian Foster.
SANZAAR confirmed that the outstanding second-round match of the Rugby Championship (TRC) between Australia and New Zealand, that was due to be played on Saturday, August 28, has been rescheduled for 14.00 AWST (06.00 GMT) on Sunday, September 5 at Optus Stadium, Perth, Western Australia.
The All Blacks will then move to Queensland for the remainder of the Rugby Championship and other players will join them there.
The squad will then move on to the United States and Britain, without returning to New Zealand, for an end-of-season tour which will likely keep players away from home for around 14 weeks.
“We’ll be playing 10 Tests in 12 weeks in both the southern and northern hemispheres and with COVID-19 travel and quarantine restrictions, this will be a tour like no other for us in the professional era,” Foster said.
“We can’t wait to get underway and once again represent our country on the world stage.”
New Zealand squad:
Forwards: Asafo Aumua, Samisoni Taukei’aho, Codie Taylor, George Bower, Ethan de Groot, Nepo Laulala, Tyrel Lomax, Joe Moody, Angus Ta’avao, Karl Tu’inukuafe, Ofa Tuungafasi, Scott Barrett, Brodie Retallick, Patrick Tuipulotu, Tupou Vaa’i, Ethan Blackadder, Akira Ioane, Luke Jacobson, Dalton Papalii, Ardie Savea, Hoskins Sotutu.
Backs: Finlay Christie, TJ Perenara, Brad Weber, Beauden Barrett, Braydon Ennor, David Havili, Rieko Ioane, Anton Lienert-Brown, Quinn Tupaea, Jordie Barrett, George Bridge, Will Jordan, Damian McKenzie, Sevu Reece.