ALL BLACKS HEAD COACH Steve Hansen has called up uncapped talents Sam Cane and Julien Savea as part of the 30-man squad that will take on Ireland in three June Test matches.
Hansen, who took over from World Cup-winning coach Graham Henry, has kept faith with half-back Piri Weepu and was delighted to have out-half Dan Carter back in black.
He identified a series win and blooding new faces as two of the main goals for his side and insists the All Blacks will not be resting on the laurels of that Webb Ellis trophy win last October.
Hansen said, “We know that what we did yesterday is not good enough for today and we have a clear goal to recapture the World Cup in 2015.”
Back at 10
Carter says a five month break away from the game, following the groin injury that ended his World Cup after the group stages, has refreshed ahead of the upcoming series. He commented:
It is what I do and love. To be able to wear that 10 jersey and take the kicks. I’m glad that I’m able to do that now, pain free.
Carter’s international and Crusaders teammate, Sam Whitelock says the All Blacks will be expecting Ireland to hit them hard in the opening stages of the First Test at Eden Park next Saturday.
He said, “Last year they had a couple of really big wins. It is something we have to be aware of and show up right from the start.”
Whitelock believes the injury to Paul O’Connell is not all bad news for the Irish. He explained:
He’s played a number of Tests and is a key member of the squad but his absence opens the door for another guy, who will be fresh and excited to get in there and prove his worth.
The second-row also revealed that Brad Thorn, having spent a successful stint with Leinster, has refused to ‘cough up’ and information on unlocking the Irish line-out
New Zealand squad:
Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes), Sam Cane (Chiefs), Daniel Carter (Crusaders), Wyatt Crockett (Cusaders), Aaron Cruden (Chiefs), Israel Dagg (Crusaders), Tamati Ellison (Highlanders), Ben Franks (Crusaders), Owen Franks (Crusaders), Hosea Gear (Highlanders), Zac Guildford (Crusaders), Andrew Hore (Highlanders), Richie McCaw (c) (Crusaders), Keven Mealamu (Blues), Ma’a Nonu (Blues), Kieran Read (Crusaders), Brodie Retallick (Chiefs), Luke Romano (Crusaders), Julian Savea (Hurricanes), Aaron Smith (Highlanders), Ben Smith (Highlanders), Conrad Smith (Hurricanes), Ben Tameifuna (Chiefs), Adam Thomson (Highlanders), Victor Vito (Hurricanes), Piri Weepu (Blues), Sam Whitelock (Crusaders), Ali Williams (Blues), Sonny Bill Williams (Chiefs), Tony Woodcock (Blues).