One new face for All Blacks
Published 10/07/2011 | 08:32
Jarrad Hoeata is the lone new face in the New Zealand squad for their Test with Fiji and the subsequent Tri-Nations series.
The 27-year-old Highlanders lock was an ever-present in the recent Super Rugby season and takes his place in a 30-man party that will be captained by Richie McCaw.
Coach Graham Henry has named 16 forwards and 14 backs the All Blacks squad.
Henry said: "We are excited to be naming this first squad of the year in what is undoubtedly a huge year not only for the All Blacks but the country as a whole,
"Hoeata is the only new All Black selected so this will be a very special moment for him. He thoroughly deserves his selection and we congratulate him."
Henry, who has one eye on the World Cup to be hosted in his country in the autumn, has named four players who are recovering from injury, while another quartet have been named as cover.
Tony Woodcock, Isaia Toeava, Hosea Gear and Israel Dagg are all carrying problems, so Wyatt Crockett, Cory Jane, Sitiveni Sivivatu and Ben Smith have been told to stand by the phone.
Experienced names such as Ali Williams, Corey Flynn and Piri Weepu return.
New Zealand play Fiji in Carisbrook on Friday.
New Zealand squad: John Afoa, Corey Flynn, Ben Franks, Owen Franks, Jarrad Hoeata, Andrew Hore, Jerome Kaino, Richie McCaw, Keven Mealamu, Liam Messam, Kieran Read, Adam Thomson, Brad Thorn, Samuel Whitelock, Ali Williams, Tony Woodcock, Daniel Carter, Jimmy Cowan, Israel Dagg, Andy Ellis, Hosea Gear, Zac Guildford, Richard Kahui, Mils Muliaina, Ma'a Nonu, Colin Slade, Conrad Smith, Isaia Toeava, Piri Weepu, Sonny Bill Williams.