All Blacks name provisional squad for Irish Tests

New Zealand have announced a 35-player squad to attend two training camps ahead of the three-Test Series against Ireland in June.

New Zealand have announced a 35-player squad to attend two training camps ahead of the three-Test Series against Ireland in June.

Head coach Steve Hansen along with assistant coach Ian Foster and fellow selector Grant Fox have opted to include some young prospects such as Beauden Barrett, Julian Savea and Brad Shields while experience comes in the form of veterans like Keven Mealamu and Ali Williams.

Crusaders winger Zac Guildford and hooker Corey Flynn are among the big names to miss out along with Hosea Gear and Jimmy Cowan.

Despitre carrying injuries Richard Kahui, Charlie Faumuina and Kieran Read have all been included in Hansen’s squad.

The Head Coach believes the camps will give the All Blacks management an opportunity to observe young talent.

"We have two aims with the selection of the players for the camps,” Hansen remarked. “Our main aim is to begin to prepare a squad to win the Steinlager Series against Ireland.

“Secondly, it gives us the opportunity to introduce and work with some younger, talented players in the All Blacks environment.

"In the wider training group we have a balance between proven Test players, in-form Super Rugby players and some talented, young players.

“This includes 21 players from the Rugby World Cup squad and, notably, six players from the 2011 Junior World Championship-winning New Zealand Under 20 team.

"We will use the time in the camps to work on some of the protocols, expectations and disciplines that are needed to succeed in the All Blacks, plus it will also give us a little bit of training time to work on some new things which we hope to bring in for the Tests against the Irish."

The first training camp will be take place in Auckland from Sunday 20 May to Tuesday 22 May with the second camp in Wellington from Sunday 27 May to Tuesday 29 May.

The 30-man All Blacks squad will be named on Sunday 3 June.

All Blacks training squad:

Blues: Charlie Faumuina, Ma'a Nonu, Keven Mealamu, Piri Weepu, Ali Williams and Tony Woodcock.

Chiefs: Sam Cane, Aaron Cruden, Richard Kahui, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Brodie Retallick, Ben Tameifuna and Sonny Bill Williams.

Hurricanes: Beauden Barrett, Cory Jane, Julian Savea, Brad Shields, Conrad Smith and Victor Vito.

Crusaders: Daniel Carter, Wyatt Crockett, Israel Dagg, Andy Ellis, Ben Franks, Owen Franks, Richie McCaw, Kieran Read, Luke Romano, Luke Whitelock and Samuel Whitelock.

Highlanders: Tamati Ellison, Andrew Hore, Aaron Smith, Ben Smith and Adam Thomson.

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