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All Blacks Announce Squad For Upcoming Tour

All Blacks Announce Squad For Upcoming Tour

New Zealand coach Graham Henry has confirmed the names of the 35 players who will embark on the All Blacks’ tour of Hong Kong, Britain and Ireland next month, with their itinerary including a Croke Park clash with Declan Kidney’s Ireland side and a 30th anniversary match against Munster at Thomond Park Stadium.

While the All Blacks touring squad is mostly made up of familiar names, there are also seven new caps included.

Props Ben Franks and Jamie Mackintosh, back rowers Scott Waldrom, Kieran Read and Liam Messam, winger Hosea Gear and full-back Cory Jane are the new players pressing for Test match recognition.

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Messam and Gear both played for the New Zealand Maori against Ireland ‘A’ in the 2007 Barclays Churchill Cup in England.

Influential backs Leon MacDonald (concussion problems) and Brendon Leonard (knee) are notable absentees due to injury.

But lock Jason Eaton and winger Joe Rokocoko are back in the reckoning, as is Corey Flynn who last lined out for the All Blacks in 2004.

New Zealand coach Graham Henry said: “We believe it’s a very talented squad that we have got for this tour.

“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 Rebel Sport Super 14 and the Air New Zealand Cup, for what will be the most demanding Test match tour schedule faced by an All Blacks team in the professional era.”

Henry’s charges will start the tour next Saturday (November 1) when they face Australia in the first ever off-shore Bledisloe Cup match in Hong Kong.

Scotland are next up the following Saturday (November 8), then Ireland at Croke Park (November 15), followed by that historic encounter with Munster (November 18) and further Test matches against Wales (November 22) and England (November 29).

Click here to view a match report from Ireland’s 21-11 Test match defeat to the All Blacks in Wellington in June.

NEW ZEALAND Tour Squad (November Tour 2008): John Afoa (Auckland), Anthony Boric (North Harbour), Dan Carter (Canterbury), Jimmy Cowan (Southland), Stephen Donald (Waikato), Jason Eaton (Taranaki), Andy Ellis (Canterbury), 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), Malili 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).