All Blacks naming special: Why injury concerns made selectors jobs harder

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Mon, 21 Jun 2021, 8:42PM
The All Blacks have had to face a number of injury concerns - including Captain Same Cane - in naming the July squad. (Photo / AP)
The All Blacks have had to face a number of injury concerns - including Captain Same Cane - in naming the July squad. (Photo / AP)

All Blacks naming special: Why injury concerns made selectors jobs harder

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Mon, 21 Jun 2021, 8:42PM

All Blacks selectors have battled depth and injury concerns to choose their 36-man squad for the upcoming tests against Tonga and Fiji.

Among the group include new caps Ethan de Groot, George Bower, Ethan Blackadder, Finlay Christie and Quinn Tupaea.

David Havili's back in the squad for the first time in early four years, while Angus Ta'avao, Luke Jacobson and Braydon Ennor all return after absences.

Selector Grant Fox told Elliott Smith the level of talent in New Zealand mixed in with injuries made for a tricky team naming.

"We're challenged in some areas, particularly in the midfield, that was probably the biggest area of decision. That went right to the weekend to finally make a decision on where we're heading there."

Beauden Barrett, who's recently come back from Japan, and Brodie Retallick, who hasn't played for the All Blacks since the 2019 World Cup, have been included.

Anton Lienert-Brown is one of the lucky 36 depsite recently having surgery on his elbow.

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