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All Blacks squad for Argentina and South Africa

allblacks.com     20 Sep 2013    

The key feature of the squad is a late injury to halfback TJ Perenara which has resulted in the call-up of Piri Weepu as a replacement. First five-eighth Tom Taylor has been confirmed as the injury replacement for Dan Carter, while All Blacks Captain Richie McCaw, who is recovering from a knee injury, will also travel with the squad.

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: "TJ has suffered a stress fracture in his lower left leg and is expected to be out of rugby for at least six weeks and, therefore, will miss the rest of The Rugby Championship.

It's obviously a huge disappointment for him and us because, even though he hasn't had any game time yet for the All Blacks, he has been developing well within the squad.

"We have selected Piri as a replacement for two reasons: one, given the environments we are going into, it would be unfair to bring in a novice halfback; and secondly, we have also seen advances in his game in the areas we asked him to improve in.

"With Richie, we believe that the best chance of having him available to play against South Africa is by having him travel with the squad and getting 'hands-on' treatment from the All Blacks medical staff."

A decision on whether or not McCaw is available to play against South Africa will be made later in the week in Argentina. If he's not available, then Matt Todd will join the squad in South Africa.

The All Blacks depart Auckland for Argentina tomorrow, Saturday 21 September, and play Argentina at Estadio Ciudad de La Plata, La Plata, on Saturday 28 September and South Africa the following weekend at Ellis Park, Johannesburg, on Saturday 5 October.

The squad is as follows:

Forwards


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 Samuel Whitelock.

Loose forwards: Sam Cane, Steven Luatua, Richie McCaw, Liam Messam and Kieran Read.

Backs

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.