Get to know the three newest faces in the All Blacks squad ahead of the June test series against France.

Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi


The rising Chiefs star has something unusual in common with fellow All Black halfback TJ Perenara — both were in the sights of NRL super club Melbourne Storm. Tahuriorangi played both codes as a youngster and was in a NZ under-18 league side alongside future NRL players Tui Lolohea, Bunty Afoa, Nathaniel Roche and Toa Sipley.

2) Tahuriorangi entered the Chiefs system while still at Rotorua Boys High school, and was in the 2015 New Zealand world under-20 title winning side. He made his NPC debut for Taranaki in 2014, and backed up Perenara at the Hurricanes for two years.


3) Ex-Taranaki coach Colin Cooper brought Tahuriorangi to the Chiefs from the Hurricanes this season, in a swap involving Finlay Christie. Pundits thought Chiefs halfback Brad Weber would get the third All Black spot but Tahuriorangi made his charge when Weber suffered a wrist injury. Tahuriorangi is noted for his swift passing and will now be seen as the man who can replicate the way Aaron Smith's speed drives the All Blacks.

4) After leaving Rotorua Boys High, he studied for an engineering diploma. Last year, he returned to Rotorua with the Maori All Blacks to play the Lions and said: "At high school I was always that person people looked up to and to come back and see all the rangatahi (youth) from Rotorua Boys' High has made it special for me."

5) When Tahuriorangi joined the Hurricanes in 2016, established test halfback Perenara told Maori Television: "His speed of ball, his vision out on the field is excellent especially for a young kid, just his mannerism out there he looks like he's been out there for a long time."

Shannon Frizell. Photo / Photosport
Shannon Frizell. Photo / Photosport

Shannon Frizell


The explosive Frizell has had just three starts in his first season for the Highlanders, making him a true bolter in the All Black side. He is essentially a tight-loose forward but at 1.95m he could cover lock.

2) Frizell was born and raised in Tonga, the homeland of his mother Sophia, and raised there by his adopted family. Shannon's schoolmates included Warriors centre Solomone Kata and Warrior-turned-Titan Konrad Hurrell.

3) Shannon grew up separated from his Wollongong-born brother Tyson who is a league star for the NRL's St George-Illawarra Dragons, New South Wales and Australia. Australian immigration laws prevented Shannon from joining his birth family there.

4) Tyson Frizell played for Wales in the 2013 league World Cup, and Shannon could have played rugby for Wales. Their father Andrew is from Swansea and he helped Shannon obtain a British passport. Tyson played rugby for Australian Schools and was chased by the NSW Waratahs.

5) Shannon signed for the Tasman Makos as a 22-year-old in 2016. He announced his potential on the big stage with three tries and a brilliant offload for another against the hapless Blues at Eden Park last month.

Jordan Taufua. Photo / Photosport
Jordan Taufua. Photo / Photosport

Jordan Taufua


The Crusaders hard man was born in Otahuhu and went to Alfriston and Sacred Heart colleges. Taufua captained the SHC first XV, and represented Counties Manukau in the under-14s and under-16s.

2) The well-travelled Taufua has had a slightly unusual path in the game, which includes aiming to play for a Japanese club rather than in the next NPC. He also quit Canterbury for Counties Manukau when he felt his path was blocked, and is currently in his second spell at Tasman. He played in last year's NPC final against Canterbury, breaking his arm and enduring surgery followed by a three month layoff.

3) All Blacks coach Steve Hansen indicated Taufua could play all three loose forward positions.

4) The 26-year-old Taufua revealed if he wasn't a rugby player he would be a primary school teacher. Taufua headed into the Crusaders via a well-worn education path - Lincoln University. Other Lincoln rugby scholarship winners include Richie McCaw plus current All Blacks Sam Whitelock, Jack Goodhue and Barrett brothers Jordie and Scott.

5) Taufua played for Samoan under-20s who won the 2011 second tier world junior trophy in Georgia. He then played against Samoa for New Zealand under-20s at the elite 2012 World Cup in South Africa.