All Blacks Announce Scary 33-Man Squad To Face The Lions

All Blacks Announce Scary 33-Man Squad To Face The Lions
By PJ Browne Updated
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The All Blacks have named a formidable 33-man squad for the three-test series against the Lions.

At the announcement, head coach Steve Hansen called it the toughest squad selection he has had to make during his six years in charge of the All Blacks.

For the first time in an All Blacks squad, three brothers feature as fullback Jordie Barrett joins his already capped brothers Beauden and Scott in being named.

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Jordie Barrett is just one of two uncapped players in the squad, the other being Hurricanes centre Ngani Laumape.

All Blacks squad to play the Lions

Backs:

Jordie Barrett, Israel Dagg, Rieko Ioane, Waisake Naholo, Julian Savea, Ben Smith; Ryan Crotty, Ngani Laumape, Anton Lienert-Brown, Sonny Bill Williams (Jack Goodhue injury cover); Beauden Barrett, Aaron Cruden, Lima Sopoaga; Tawera Kerr-Barlow, TJ Perenara, Aaron Smith.

Forwards:

Wyatt Crockett, Charlie Faumuina, Owen Franks, Joe Moody, Ofa Tu'ungafasi; Dane Coles, Codie Taylor, Nathan Harris; Scott Barrett, Brodie Retallick, Luke Romano, Sam Whitelock; Sam Cane, Jerome Kaino, Kieran Read (captain), Ardie Savea, Liam Squire.

After Wednesday's defeat to the Blues, Warren Gatland suggested that there was little difference between Super Rugby and international rugby. That was a suggestion swiftly dismissed by Steve Hansen on Thursday.

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There is not any comparison (between the levels). Perhaps Warren was trying a little bit of humour after struggling a wee bit with his press conference before. I don't know what his thinking is.

The Lions play the first test against the All Blacks at Eden Park on June 24. The other two tests follow a week apart at Wellington's Westpac Stadium on July 1st and then back to Auckland on July 8th.

Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

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See Also: Four Irish Players Named In Starting XV To Play Crusaders This Weekend

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