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All Blacks select five fresh faces

Five uncapped players have been included in a 35-man New Zealand training squad for the June Tests with England.

The world champions will convene for two three-day camps in Christchurch and Wellington later this month, with the official 31-man All Blacks squad for the Steinlager Series named in Auckland on Sunday, June 1.

Lock Patrick Tuipulotu, centre Malakai Fekitoa, scrum-half TJ Perenara and hookers Nathan Harris and Liam Coltman have been selected by All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen.

"With players coming from five different Super Rugby teams, it's important that we get aligned on our game plans and skill sets," Hansen said on

"The challenge the English bring means we will need to be at our very best as quickly as possible.

"The camps also give the All Blacks management time to meet and learn in greater details about some of the younger players who have been named."

The All Blacks play England at Eden Park, Auckland, on Saturday, June 7 before further Tests in Dunedin on June 14 and Hamilton on June 21.

The two training camps will be held in Christchurch from May 18 to May 20 and in Wellington from May 25 to May 27.


Forwards: K Mealamu (Blues), N Harris (Chiefs), D Coles (Hurricanes), L Coltman (Highlanders), C Faumuina, T Woodcock (both Blues), B Franks (Hurricanes), W Crockett, O Franks (both Crusaders), P Tuipulotu (Blues), B Retallick (Chiefs), J Thrush (Hurricanes), D Bird, S Whitelock (both Crusaders), J Kaino, S Luatua (both Blues), S Cane, L Messam (both Chiefs), V Vito (Hurricanes), R McCaw, K Read, L Whitelock (all Crusaders).

Backs: T Kerr-Barlow (Chiefs), TJ Perenara (Hurricanes), Aaron Smith (Highlanders), A Cruden (Chiefs), B Barrett (Hurricanes), C Slade (Crusaders), M Nonu (Blues), C Smith (Hurricanes), R Crotty (Crusaders), M Fekitoa (Highlanders), C Jane, J Savea (both Hurricanes), I Dagg (Crusaders), B Smith (Highlanders).


From Belfast Telegraph