All Blacks: No surprises for Tri-Nations test

Israel Dagg - seen here scoring against the Springboks in Wellington - has been added to the touring squad. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Israel Dagg - seen here scoring against the Springboks in Wellington - has been added to the touring squad. Photo / Mark Mitchell

The All Blacks selectors have stayed with the tried and trusted in naming their squad for the Tri-Nations rugby test against South Africa at Soweto on August 21.

All 26 players named today have taken the field for New Zealand this season.

The four players added to the 22-man squad who retained the Bledisloe Cup by beating Australia 20-10 in Christchurch last Saturday are Hawke's Bay fullback Israel Dagg, Auckland prop John Afoa, North Harbour lock Anthony Boric and Northland outside back Rene Ranger.

Southland halfback Jimmy Cowan, who missed the test against Australia due to a rib injury, has been bracketed with Alby Mathewson, who debuted off the reserves bench in Christchurch, pending the outcome of a fitness test on Thursday.

The All Blacks selectors opted for wide squad members Waikato loose forward Liam Messam and midfield back Richard Kahui to remain in New Zealand.

Kahui has been sidelined in recent weeks due to a shoulder injury.

Meanwhile, six All Blacks have been released for their national provincial championship teams this week, with Messam, Boric, Dagg, Tasman prop Ben Franks, and Canterbury pair Corey Flynn and Sam Whitelock all set for game time.

All Blacks squad:-

Forwards: John Afoa, Anthony Boric, Tom Donnelly, Corey Flynn, Ben Franks, Owen Franks, Jerome Kaino, Richie McCaw, Keven Mealamu, Kieran Read, Brad Thorn, Victor Vito, Samuel Whitelock and Tony Woodcock.

Backs: Daniel Carter, Jimmy Cowan/Alby Mathewson, Aaron Cruden, Israel Dagg, Cory Jane, Mils Muliaina, Ma'a Nonu, Rene Ranger, Joe Rokocoko, Conrad Smith, Benson Stanley and Piri Weepu.

- NZPA

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