Jerome Kaino will return to the All Blacks for the three test series against England beginning next Saturday at Eden Park, as was the expected outcome following today’s squad announcement.
The two new faces set to make their international debuts are Highlanders midfielder Malakai Fekitoa and Blues lock Patrick Tuipulotu, as Hurricanes centre Alapati Leiua misses out on grabbing the black jersey, much to the surprise of a few keen followers of the Wellington sensation. Heading up the key playmaker roles, the three fly halves of Aaron Cruden, Beauden Barrett, and Colin Slade were all named in the All Blacks for the English series.
Andy Ellis misses out on selection, with in form halfback Aaron Smith surely the number one starting pick ahead of TJ Perenara and Tawera Kerr Barlow.
All Black coach Steve Hanson says he wants a balance between youth and proven form in the black jersey in his squad.