Hansen brings in young talent for All Blacks group
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Six players from the Junior World Championship-winning New Zealand Under 20s team have been named in a 35-strong All Black training group ahead of the three-match rugby Test series against Ireland.
Coach Steve Hansen says the two three-day training camps, to be held later this month, will expose the younger players to the All Black environment.
The group, named on Monday, includes Brodie Retallick, Sam Cane, Brad Shields, Ben Tameifuna, Beauden Barrett and Luke Whitelock, who were all in last year’s JWC-winning squad.
Other new faces include Charlie Faumuina, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Julian Savea, Luke Romano, and Aaron Smith.
Highlanders back Tamati Ellison, who last played one Test for the All Blacks against Italy in 2009, is also in the training group.
Twenty-one players from last year’s Rugby World Cup-winning squad are in the group.
Missing from last year are Zac Guildford, Corey Flynn and Hosea Gear.
“In the wider training group we have a balance between proven Test players, in-form Super Rugby players and some talented, young players,” Hansen said.
“We will use the time in the camps to work on some of the protocols, expectations and disciplines that are needed to succeed in the All Blacks, plus it will also give us a little bit of training time to work on some new things which we hope to bring in for the Tests against the Irish.”
The 30-man All Blacks squad for next month’s Irish Tests will be named on June 3.
The training group:
Blues: Charlie Faumuina, Ma’a Nonu, Keven Mealamu, Piri Weepu, Ali Williams and Tony Woodcock.
Chiefs: Sam Cane, Aaron Cruden, Richard Kahui, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Brodie Retallick, Ben Tameifuna and Sonny Bill Williams.
Hurricanes: Beauden Barrett, Cory Jane, Julian Savea, Brad Shields, Conrad Smith and Victor Vito.
Crusaders: Daniel Carter, Wyatt Crockett, Israel Dagg, Andy Ellis, Ben Franks, Owen Franks, Richie McCaw, Kieran Read, Luke Romano, Luke Whitelock and Samuel Whitelock.
Highlanders: Tamati Ellison, Andrew Hore, Aaron Smith, Ben Smith and Adam Thomson.© AAP 2013
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