All Blacks call up Rawlinson

South African-born lock Greg Rawlinson has been called into the New Zealand squad ahead of their Tests against Ireland and Argentina.

South African-born lock Greg Rawlinson has been called into the New Zealand squad ahead of their Tests against Ireland and Argentina.

Rawlinson moved to New Zealand five years ago and has previously rejected overtures from the Springboks to remain in All Black contention.

Blues team-mate Troy Flavell returns, and there are first call-ups for Southland prop Clarke Dermody and Crusaders wing Scott Hamilton.

All Blacks coach Graham Henry said: “The players have been through an intensive Super 14 and we need to ensure that they’re in peak condition for international rugby.

“That’s why we are using 39 to play the first three Tests.

“We had to ensure the right combinations and sufficient leadership in each group so it isn’t possible to rest Super 14 finalists in every position, but we have done so where possible.”

The first Test against the Irish is in Hamilton on June 10, with the second match a week later in Auckland.

The enlarged group also includes the first XV to face Argentina in Buenos Aires on June 28, after the Ireland tour.

Jerry Collins has been named as captain against the Pumas, with 11 other squad members to be determined later.

Injuries to Sitiveni Sivivatu (knee) and prop Tony Woodcock (calf) mean they will miss the two-match series against the Triple Crown winners.

Henry revealed young Crusaders scrum-half Andrew Ellis would have been included if not injured, while five players – centre Conrad Smith, fly-half Nick Evans, flankers Sione Lauaki and Angus Macdonald and lock James Ryan – miss out through injury.

New Zealand squad to face Ireland: Jimmy Cowan, Clarke Dermody (both Southland), Troy Flavell (Auckland), Scott Hamilton (Canterbury), Carl Hayman (Otago), David Hill, Marty Holah (both Waikato), Andrew Hore (Taranaki, second Test only), Doug Howlett, Jerome Kaino (both Auckland), Byron Kelleher (Waikato), Casey Laulala (Canterbury), Luke McAlister (North Harbour), Richie McCaw (captain), Aaron Mauger (both Canterbury), Keven Mealamu (Auckland), Mils Muliaina (Waikato), Craig Newby (Otago), Ma’a Nonu (Wellington), Anton Oliver (Otago, first Test only), Greg Rawlinson (North Harbour), Joe Rokocoko (Auckland), Rodney So’oialo (Wellington), Neemia Tialata (Wellington), Ali Williams (Auckland).

New Zealand starting XI v Argentina: Leon MacDonald (Canterbury); Rico Gear (Tasman), Isaia Toeava (Auckland), Sam Tuitupo (Auckland), Sitiveni Sivivatu (Waikato); Luke McAllister (North Harbour), Piri Weepu (Wellington), Tony Woodcock (North Harbour), Anton Oliver (Otago), Greg Somerville (Canterbury), Jason Eaton (Taranaki), Chris Jack (Canterbury), Jerry Collins (captain), Chris Masoe (both Wellington), Mose Tuiali’I (Canterbury)

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