The All Blacks coach Ian Foster has picked six new All Blacks and dropped a veteran in his first All Blacks squad of the year.
Rugby league convert Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is named for the first time along with fellow backs Folau Fakatava, Stephen Perofeta and Leicester Fainga’anuku. In the forwards, Aidan Ross and Pita Gus Sowakula are the newcomers.
The squad will play Ireland in a three-test series in New Zealand next month.
Sam Cane was named as captain of the side.
Halfback Fakatava comes into the squad as the 78-game veteran TJ Perenara misses out.
Foster along with fellow selectors Grant Fox and John Plumtree said this was an extremely difficult squad to select.
“We want to congratulate the six new caps in what will be a very special day for them and their families who I’m sure will be extremely proud of their achievements. We have a new group of exciting players who will be keen to make a difference in the All Black jersey.
All Blacks squad for the Tests against Ireland
Dane Coles (Hurricanes, Wellington), Codie Taylor (Crusaders, Canterbury), Samisoni Taukei’aho (Chiefs, Waikato)
Aidan Ross* (Chiefs, Bay of Plenty), George Bower (Crusaders, Otago), Nepo Laulala (Blues, Counties Manukau), Ofa Tuungafasi (Blues, Northland), Karl Tu’inukuafe (Blues, North Harbour), Angus Ta’avao (Chiefs, Auckland)
Samuel Whitelock (Crusaders, Canterbury) Brodie Retallick (Chiefs, Hawke’s Bay) Scott Barrett (Crusaders, Taranaki) Josh Lord (Chiefs, Taranaki) Tupou Vaa’i (Chiefs, Taranaki)
Pita Gus Sowakula* (Chiefs, Taranaki)
Sam Cane – Captain (Chiefs, Bay of Plenty) Dalton Papalii (Blues, Counties Manukau) Ardie Savea (Hurricanes, Wellington) Akira Ioane (Blues, Auckland) Hoskins Sotutu (Blues, Counties Manukau)
Folau Fakatava* (Highlanders, Hawkes Bay) Aaron Smith (Highlanders, Manawatu) Finlay Christie (Blues, Tasman)
Stephen Perofeta* (Blues, Taranaki), Beauden Barrett (Blues, Taranaki), Richie Mo’unga (Crusaders, Canterbury)
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck* (Blues, Auckland), Quinn Tupaea (Chiefs, Waikato), Jack Goodhue (Crusaders, Northland), Rieko Ioane (Blues, Auckland), David Havili (Crusaders, Tasman)
Leicester Fainga’anuku* (Crusaders, Tasman) Jordie Barrett (Hurricanes, Taranaki) Will Jordan (Crusaders, Tasman) Caleb Clarke (Blues, Auckland) Sevu Reece (Crusaders, Tasman)