All Blacks name seven new faces for tour

New Zealand coach Graham Henry has named seven new players in his 35-man squad for the autumn tour to Hong Kong and Europe.

New Zealand coach Graham Henry has named seven new players in his 35-man squad for the autumn tour to Hong Kong and Europe.

Props Ben Franks and Jamie Mackintosh, loose forwards Scott Waldrom, Kieran Read and Liam Messam and backs Hosea Gear and Cory Jane are all in line to make their All Blacks debuts on a tour that begins with a Bledisloe Cup Test against Australia in Hong Kong.

Matches with Scotland, Ireland, Wales and England follow on successive weekends, plus a midweek game against Munster.

Lock Jason Eaton has forced his way back into the squad after last playing for the All Blacks in November 2006, while Joe Rokocoko has overcome wrist and hamstring injuries to make his return.

There were also recalls for lock Ross Filipo and hooker Corey Flynn.

Those unlucky to miss out from the wider training squad were Tanerau Latimer, Sione Lauaki and Rudi Wulf, while Leon MacDonald (concussion) and Brendon Leonard (knee) were not considered because of injury.

“We believe it’s a very talented team that we have got for this tour,” Henry said.

“We feel we have got the right balance with a nucleus of experienced All Blacks as well as seven new caps who have shown their class in the Super 14 and Air New Zealand Cup, for what is the most demanding Test match tour schedule faced by and All Blacks team in the professional era.”

New Zealand squad: John Afoa (Auckland), Anthony Boric (North Harbour), Daniel Carter (Canterbury), Jimmy Cowan (Southland), Stephen Donald (Waikato), Andy Ellis (Canterbury), Jason Eaton (Taranaki), Ross Filipo (Wellington), Corey Flynn (Canterbury), Ben Franks (Tasman), Hosea Gear (Wellington), Andrew Hore (Taranaki), Cory Jane (Wellington), Richard Kahui (Waikato), Jerome Kaino (Auckland), Richie McCaw (Canterbury, capt), Jamie Mackintosh (Southland), Keven Mealamu (Auckland), Liam Messam (Waikato), Mils Muliaina (Waikato), Ma’a Nonu (Wellington), Kieran Read (Canterbury), Joe Rokocoko (Auckland), Sitiveni Sivivatu (Waikato), Conrad Smith (Wellington), Rodney So’oialo (Wellington), Adam Thomson (Otago), Brad Thorn (Tasman), Neemia Tialata (Wellington), Isaia Toeava (Auckland), Anthony Tuitavake (North Harbour), Piri Weepu (Wellington), Scott Waldrom (Taranaki), Ali Williams (Tasman), Tony Woodcock (North Harbour).

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