30 May

All Black Squad for Steinlager Series named
by Tracey Nelson
30 May 2010

The All Black selectors have named their 26-man squad for the upcoming June tests against Ireland (New Plymouth) and Wales (Dunedin and Hamilton).

With a split of 14 forwards and 12 backs there are four new caps – Victor Vito, Aaron Cruden, Benson Stanley and Israel Dagg.

The squad is:

Props: Tony Woodcock, Ben Franks, Owen Franks, Neemia Tialata

Hookers: Keven Mealamu, Aled de Malmanche

Locks: Brad Thorn, Anthony Boric, Tom Donnelly

Loosies: Kieran Read, Richie McCaw (c), Jerome Kaino, Adam Thomson, Victor Vito

Halfbacks: Jimmy Cowan, Piri Weepu

1st5s: Dan Carter, Aaron Cruden

Centres: Benson Stanley, Conrad Smith, Richard Kahui

Wingers: Zac Guildford, Josevata Rokocoko, Cory Jane

Fullbacks: Mils Muliina, Israel Dagg

In something of a surprise Piri Weepu has won back his halfback spot ahead of form player Alby Mathewson, no doubt mostly due to his goal kicking abilities. Aaron Cruden has been named as deputy 1st 5 to Daniel Carter, after Stephen Donald suffered a shoulder injury playing club rugby on Saturday. Benson Stanley has been named as the only specialist 2nd 5, with Richard Kahui being named as obvious cover for that position despite still being under an injury cloud.

Israel Dagg has been named as a specialist fullback alongside Mils Muliaina (who is also recovering from injury, and is unlikely to be fully fit for the first test of the season against Ireland). Victor Vito is the only new cap in the forwards.

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