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Crusaders hooker Corey Flynn will captain the Junior All Blacks following Reuben Thorne's withdrawal from the squad this week.

Flynn was named skipper yesterday by co-coaches Colin Cooper and Ian Foster as they prepare for their opening Pacific Five Nations match against Fiji in Suva on Saturday.

Foster said Flynn was an outstanding player who had the attributes of a leader.

Thorne, the former All Black captain, withdrew from the team on Monday, a day after being named, saying he needed recovery time after playing every Super 14 match.

North Harbour's Anthony Boric replaced Thorne, but could not crack the starting 15 for this Saturday.

Cooper and Foster named an All Black front row with props John Afoa and Saimone Taumoepeau joined by Flynn at hooker.

The coaches named a big pack, with locks Bernie Upton and Tom Donnelly supported by the loose forward trio of Nick Williams, Josh Blackie and Steven Bates.

In the backline speedster Sosene Anesi claimed fullback and Blues centre Anthony Tuitavake was placed on wing. Niva Ta'auso and Cameron McIntyre team up in the midfield, with Stephen Donald named at first five-eighths.

* Junior All Blacks v Fiji, Suva, Saturday

Junior All Blacks:

Sosene Anesi
Anthony Tuitavake
Niva Ta'auso
Cameron McIntyre
Caleb Ralph
Stephen Donald
Jamie Nutbrown
Nick Williams
Josh Blackie
Steven Bates
Bernie Upton
Tom Donnelly
John Afoa
Corey Flynn (c)
S. Taumoepeau

Reserves:
Campbell Johnstone
Wyatt Crockett
Hoani MacDonald
Johnny Leo'o
Kevin Senio
Tamati Ellison
Viliame Waqaseduadua

- NZPA