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All Blacks confirm squad for Bledisloe 3, Spring Tour

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15th October, 2018
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New Zealand have confirmed a 32-man squad for the third Bledisloe Cup match against Australia, as well as their Spring Tour.

The All Blacks have named one uncapped player in their 32-man squad, with Dalton Papalii included. After a strong Super Rugby season, he comes into the squad for with the injured Sam Cane and Shannon Frizell along with Jordan Taufua missing out.

The big shock for the All Blacks is Nehe Milner-Skudder, who has only made selection in the wider 19-man squad for a Test against Japan. Also in that line-up is Ngani Laumape.

Dane Coles is also back after missing a majority of 2018 through injury, while Nepo Laulala, Joe Moody, Brodie Retallick and loose forward Liam Squire have also all made their way back into the squad.

Matt Todd has also been selected, given an exemption by the New Zealand Rugby Board after playing for the Wild Knights in Japan recently. He is due to return to the Crusaders in the next Super Rugby season.

The All Blacks first assignment on the road is the third Bledisloe match against Australia. While they have already won the series, they will be out to complete the clean sweep of the Wallabies in Tokyo, before they play Japan and then head to Europe.

Coach Steve Hansen said the squad was looking forward to the challenges ahead.

“This is a hugely exciting Northern Tour we’re about to embark on and one which we’re all looking forward to,” said Hansen.

“We thank the NZR Board and Wild Knights for supporting the selection of Matt. It’s much appreciated.

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“We congratulate Dalton on being named in the 32-man squad for the Tour. He has played outstanding rugby this year and deserves his opportunity.

“We also congratulate those new All Blacks named in the wider squad for the Japan Test. All these players and their families can be proud of the hard work, commitment and dedication that has led to this point.”

New Zealand squad for Bledisloe 3, Spring Tour

Forwards
Scott Barrett, Dane Coles, Vaea Fifita, Owen Franks, Nathan Harris, Nepo Laulala, Joe Moody, Dalton Papalii, Kieran Read, Brodie Retallick, Ardie Savea, Liam Squire, Codie Taylor, Matt Todd, Karl Tu’inukuafe, Patrick Tuipulotu, Ofa Tuungafasi, Samuel Whitelock

Backs
Beauden Barrett, Jordie Barrett, Ryan Crotty, Jack Goodhue, Rieko Ioane, Anton Lienert-Brown, Damian McKenzie, Richie Mo’unga, Waisake Naholo, TJ Perenara, Aaron Smith, Ben Smith, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Sonny Bill Williams

As mentioned above, the All Blacks have also named a wider 19-man squad will play in the Test against Japan before the rest of the side departs for Europe and the remainder of their Spring Tour.

Hansen said this will allow the All Blacks to send the majority of their 32-man squad to Europe early to prepare for the remaining matches.

New Zealand wider squad

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Forwards
Asafo Aumua, Liam Coltman, Gareth Evans, Jackson Hemopo, Dillon Hunt, Tyrel Lomax, Reuben O’Neill, Tim Perry, Luke Romano, Angus Ta’avao, Luke Whitelock

Backs
George Bridge, Brett Cameron, Mitchell Drummond, Bryn Hall, David Havili, Ngani Laumape, Matt Proctor, Nehe Milner-Skudder