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Key All Black returns for end of year tour

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sun, 9 Oct 2022, 4:53PM
Anton Lienert-Brown returns to the All Blacks squad. Photosport
Anton Lienert-Brown returns to the All Blacks squad. Photosport

Key All Black returns for end of year tour

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sun, 9 Oct 2022, 4:53PM

The bulk of the Rugby Championship squad has been retained as the All Blacks set their sights on the Northern Tour.

The squad features the return of 56-test midfielder Anton Lienert-Brown who has made a successful return to play following shoulder surgery. The 27-year-old is a timely addition to a midfield group which is missing Quinn Tupaea and Jack Goodhue due to injury.

While there is a combined 1362 test caps across this squad, a number of capped players will be given the opportunity to gain valuable experience on tour with the All Blacks XV.

Coached by Leon MacDonald, the squad is named tomorrow and will boost the depth in New Zealand's talent pool as Rugby World Cup 2023 approaches.

"The Northern Tour is always a highlight in the All Black calendar and this year is no exception," said coach Ian Foster.

"With less than a year till the start of the Rugby World Cup, this tour gives us another great opportunity to grow from where we finished the Rugby Championship. Experiencing big Test matches in the north is great preparation for what is to come in France next year.

"The addition of our All Blacks XV team will also help grow this experience across a wider group of players."

Foster was excited by the return of Lienert-Brown while also signalling more chances for the fringe All Blacks, hinting we'll see more game time for Stephen Perofeta.

"In the midfield you'll see a return of Anton Lienert-Brown. He's a very experienced, seasoned player for us, played a lot of test matches and we've got a lot of faith in him. He's coming back from a long term shoulder injury but he's now back playing and we can monitor him through the next two or three weeks but we're excited about his inclusion in the group," Foster said.

"The tour also gives us a chance to play some of the younger or fringe guys that didn't get a lot of time during the Rugby Championship and I guess the likes of a Stephen Perofeta is one example of that of someone we'd really like to see get a lot more time on the park. He's warranted his inclusion on that basis."

The All Blacks will have a three-day camp in Nelson this week before travelling to the northern hemisphere.

The 35-strong squad is as follows: (age, Super Rugby club, province, Test caps).


Dane Coles (35, Hurricanes / Wellington, 84)
Samisoni Taukei'aho (25, Chiefs / Waikato, 17)
Codie Taylor (31, Crusaders / Canterbury, 72)

George Bower (30, Crusaders / Otago, 19)
Ethan de Groot (24, Highlanders / Southland, 10)
Nepo Laulala (31, Blues / Counties Manukau, 42)
Tyrel Lomax (26, Hurricanes / Tasman, 20)
Fletcher Newell (22, Crusaders / Canterbury, 4)
Ofa Tu'ungafasi (30, Blues / Northland, 48)

Scott Barrett (28, Crusaders / Taranaki, 55)
Brodie Retallick (31, Chiefs / Hawke's Bay, 98)
Tupou Vaa'i (22, Chiefs / Taranaki, 15)
Samuel Whitelock (33, Crusaders / Canterbury, 140)

Loose Forwards
Sam Cane – Captain (30, Chiefs / Bay of Plenty, 85)
Shannon Frizell (28, Highlanders / Tasman, 21)
Akira Ioane (27, Blues / Auckland, 19)
Dalton Papali'i (24, Blues / Counties Manukau, 18)
Ardie Savea (28, Hurricanes / Wellington, 67)
Hoskins Sotutu (24, Blues / Counties Manukau, 12)


Finlay Christie (27, Blues / Tasman, 12)
Folau Fakatava (22, Highlanders / Hawke's Bay, 2)
Aaron Smith (33, Highlanders / Manawatu, 111)

First five-eighths
Beauden Barrett (31, Blues / Taranaki, 109)
Richie Mo'unga (28, Crusaders / Canterbury, 41)
Stephen Perofeta (25, Blues / Taranaki, 1)

Braydon Ennor (25, Crusaders / Canterbury, 5)
David Havili (27, Crusaders / Tasman, 21)
Rieko Ioane (25, Blues / Auckland, 56)
Anton Lienert-Brown (27, Chiefs / Waikato, 56)
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (29, Blues / Auckland, 2)

Outside backs
Jordie Barrett (25, Hurricanes / Taranaki, 45)
Caleb Clarke (23, Blues / Auckland, 11)
Leicester Fainga'anuku (22, Crusaders / Tasman, 2)
Will Jordan (24, Crusaders / Tasman, 21)
Sevu Reece (25, Crusaders / Tasman, 21)

Unavailable for selection due to injury - Ethan Blackadder, Jack Goodhue, Josh Lord, Joe Moody and Quinn Tupaea.

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