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All Blacks name four uncapped players for November tour

23 October 2017 00:30

New Zealand named four uncapped players in a 37-man squad for their November Tests in Europe.

Asafo Aumua, Matt Duffie, Tim Perry and Jack Goodhue could make their international debuts after being included by the All Blacks, who face the Barbarians, France, a France XV, Scotland and Wales next month.

Duffie, 27, made the switch from rugby league to union in 2016, having represented New Zealand in the 13-player code six years ago.

All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen, whose team were beaten by Australia on Saturday, said in a statement: "The selectors would firstly like to congratulate all players selected for the Vista 2017 All Blacks Northern Tour, especially Asafo, Tim, Matt and Jack who are named in an All Blacks squad for the first time.

"We have a talented squad made up of experienced players and a large group of newer All Blacks and this tour will be another exciting opportunity for them."

The All Blacks squad is again strong, despite several players – Owen Franks, Joe Moody, Brodie Retallick, Israel Dagg, Nehe Milner-Skudder and Ben Smith among them – not being considered for selection.

Hansen said the tour, which begins against the Barbarians at Twickenham on November 4, would be advantageous to his squad in the long run.

"Firstly, we want to play attractive rugby that we can be proud of and, of course, winning is part of that," he said. "But, just as importantly, will be re-establishing the processes that allow us to do this.

"Secondly, we have another opportunity to expose our young players to Test rugby. Whilst we've won the Investec Rugby Championship and retained the Bledisloe Cup, the last couple of months has also enabled us to introduce that large group of younger players to international rugby and, in doing so, grow their understanding of what's required to prepare and perform at the highest level.

"Adding the four new players to our squad will again allow us to expose more young talent to the highest level, where, history tells us, players grow and get better. So this tour will complete a season of building depth and experience, which in the long run, will only benefit the team."

New Zealand also announced that five players – Dillon Hunt, Atunaisa Moli, Mitchell Drummond, Richie Mo'unga and Dominic Bird – would play for the Barbarians, with the All Blacks weakened for that clash as they opt to rest several stars.

 

New Zealand: Asafo Aumua, Beauden Barrett, Scott Barrett, Sam Cane, Dane Coles, Wyatt Crockett, Ryan Crotty, Matt Duffie, Vaea Fifita, Jack Goodhue, Kane Hames, Nathan Harris, David Havili, Rieko Ioane, Jerome Kaino, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Nepo Laulala, Ngani Laumape, Anton Lienert-Brown, Damian McKenzie, Waisake Naholo, TJ Perenara, Tim Perry, Kieran Read, Luke Romano, Ardie Savea, Aaron Smith, Lima Sopoaga, Liam Squire, Seta Tamanivalu, Codie Taylor, Matt Todd, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, Patrick Tuipulotu, Ofa Tu'ungafasi, Samuel Whitelock, Sonny Bill Williams.

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