31 Jul 2019

All Blacks cut squad for Bledisloe Cup Tests

10:12 am on 31 July 2019

The All Blacks have cut five players from their squad and replaced injured lock Brodie Retallick with Scott Barrett for the upcoming Bledisloe Cup tests against the Wallabies.

The Barrett brothers Jordie, Scott and Beauden will again lineup in the All Blacks starting fifteen.

Jordie (L), Scott (M) and Beauden Barrett (R). Photo: Photosport

Hooker Asafo Aumua, prop Karl Tu'inukuafe, loose forwards Shannon Frizell and Dalton Papali'i and first-five Josh Ioane have been cut.

Jackson Hemopo has been named as a lock rather than a loosie, with Ngani Laumape among the midfielders, as Ryan Crotty continues to recover from injury.

Barrett is back after overcoming a broken finger.

Wing Sevu Reece has been retained as has utility backs Braydon Ennor and Jordie Barrett and outside back George Bridge.

Luke Jacobson, who debuted in Argentina, stays in the loose forward mix.

Prop Nepo Laulala and midfielder Sonny Bill Williams will both to play for Counties Manukau in a pre-Mitre 10 Cup season game on Saturday.

Laulala will then join the squad in Perth, while Williams will stay and play Counties Manukau's Mitre 10 Cup season opener next Saturday, before joining the squad in Auckland for the second Bledisloe Cup Test week.

Coach Steve Hansen said they're looking for improved performances after a scratchy win over Argentina and a tepid draw with South Africa.

"Bledisloe Cup Tests are always massive Tests. We know that the Wallabies will be confident after their win over Argentina and desperate to win this first match, so we're looking forward to getting to Perth and getting into our Test preparation.

"The Bledisloe Cup is the second most important trophy for us, after the Rugby World Cup, and we're really looking forward to the next two Tests coming up. Two weeks together will give us solid preparation towards growing our game understanding and getting our execution honed, so that's exciting.

"The last time the All Blacks played in Perth was way back in 1992 (against a Western Australia side) but this will be an historic first Test for us in the city, so we're also looking forward to catching up with our fans over there."

First-five Ioane had also been invited to assemble with the squad to continue his development.

The 34-man All Blacks squad:

Hookers: Dane Coles, Liam Coltman and Codie Taylor.

Props: Owen Franks, Nepo Laulala, Joe Moody, Atu Moli, Angus Ta'avao and Ofa Tuungafasi.

Locks: Scott Barrett, Jackson Hemopo, Patrick Tuipulotu and Samuel Whitelock.

Loose forwards: Sam Cane, Vaea Fifita, Luke Jacobson, Kieran Read, Ardie Savea and Matt Todd.

Halfbacks: TJ Perenara, Aaron Smith and Brad Weber.

First five-eighths: Beauden Barrett and Richie Mo'unga.

Midfielders: Jack Goodhue, Ngani Laumape, Anton Lienert-Brown and Sonny Bill Williams.

Utility backs: Braydon Ennor and Jordie Barrett.

Outside backs: George Bridge, Rieko Ioane, Sevu Reece and Ben Smith.

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