New Zealand: Sam Cane retained as captain as All Blacks name squad for tour to South Africa

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 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

All Blacks head coach Ian Foster has kept changes to a minimum in his 36-man squad for the South African leg of the Rugby Championship, with experienced back-row Sam Cane retained as captain.

After their recent series defeat to Ireland on home soil, there was speculation that Cane would be replaced as the team’s skipper but he has kept his position.

Highlanders duo recalled

Foster has also named the bulk of the players who were in his squad for the Ireland series with the notable exceptions being Highlanders forwards Ethan de Groot (front-row) and Shannon Frizell (back-row).

The duo provided injury cover for the Ireland Tests and Foster has once again named Braydon Ennor (utility back), Tyrel Lomax (front-row) and the uncapped Josh Dickson (second-row) for similar roles as Angus Ta’avao, Brodie Retallick and Jack Goodhue are still sidelined through suspension and injuries.

Apart from Dickson, Blues utility back Stephen Perofeta is the only other player in the squad who has not played at Test level yet.

“We have taken on board the lessons from the Steinlager series and are excited about looking forward to the next phase of our Test season,” said Foster.

“The Lipovitan-D Rugby Championship plus the Bledisloe Cup remain our top priorities. This is a real chance to show what we are about as a team.”

Meanwhile, New Zealand Rugby CEO Mark Robinson said: “The past fortnight has been a challenging time for us and of course our fans.

“There have been some thorough conversations this week, as there always are around our performance environments, and these will continue. “It’s exciting to be heading back to South Africa for the first time in several years – we have two big games ahead of us there and our focus now is to support the team to improve performance and be successful.”

New Zealand will have a two-day camp in Wellington next week before flying out to South Africa for Tests against the Springboks in Mbombela and Johannesburg on August 6 and August 13 respectively.

All Blacks squad to tour South Africa

Forwards: Dane Coles, Samisoni Taukeiaho, Codie Taylor, Aidan Ross, George Bower, Nepo Laulala, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Ethan de Groot, Angus Ta’avao, Scott Barrett, Brodie Retallick, Patrick Tuipulotu, Tupou Vaa’i, Samuel Whitelock, Sam Cane (c), Shannon Frizell, Akira Ioane, Dalton Papalii, Ardie Savea, Hoskins Sotutu

Backs: Finlay Christie, Folau Fakatava, Aaron Smith, Beauden Barrett, Richie Mo’unga, Stephen Perofeta, Jack Goodhue, David Havili, Rieko Ioane, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Quinn Tupaea, Jordie Barrett, Caleb Clarke, Leicester Fainga’anuku, Will Jordan, Sevu Reece

Replacement players: Josh Dickson, Braydon Ennor, Tyrel Lomax

READ MORE: Ian Foster: All Blacks coach adamant he is still the right man for the job

The article New Zealand: Sam Cane retained as captain as All Blacks name squad for tour to South Africa appeared first on Planetrugby.com.

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