Weepu earns All Blacks recall

Getty Images     20 Sep 2013     Getty Images

The 21-year-old halfback suffered a stress fracture in his leg that will likely see him out for six weeks. A player who was set to make his debut in South America or South Africa, Perenara must now wait until the end of year tour if he is to have any chance of pulling on the black jersey in 2013.

Weepu's inclusion is a remarkable turnaround for the 30-year-old, who was dropped following the June series against France and told to work on his speed and fitness.

Weepu was by no means spectacular for Auckland as they brushed aside Northland 41-10 at Eden Park on Thursday night, but his experience will certainly aid a New Zealand side preparing for another fortnight of physical barrages.

The absence of heavily experienced first five-eighths Dan Carter means Weepu will likely play a key role in the tour, particularly in the second match against South Africa at Ellis Park in Johannesburg, a place where the All Blacks don't have a good record.

There are no other real surprises in the squad, with Jeremy Thrush called into the squad alongside Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock as cover. Tom Taylor's solid debut earned him a ticket on the two-Test tour, while usual captain Richie McCaw has been named in the squad and would likely play in the second of the two matches in South Africa.

If McCaw doesn't recover from his medial ligament injury in time for the South Africa Test then fellow Cantabrian Matt Todd will be called into the side.

All Blacks:
Hookers: Dane Coles, Andrew Hore and Keven Mealamu.
Props: Wyatt Crockett, Charlie Faumuina, Ben Franks, Owen Franks and Tony Woodcock.
Locks: Brodie Retallick, Jeremy Thrush and Sam Whitelock.
Loose forwards: Sam Cane, Steven Luatua, Richie McCaw, Liam Messam and Kieran Read.

Halfbacks: Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Aaron Smith and Piri Weepu.
First five-eighths: Beauden Barrett, Aaron Cruden and Tom Taylor. Midfielders: Ma'a Nonu and Conrad Smith.
Outside backs: Israel Dagg, Charles Piutau, Julian Savea and Ben Smith.