Being selected for the All Blacks is every professional rugby player's dream in this country.

So when Brett Cameron and George Bridge found they had earned themselves the black jersey only after the official announcement was made, it came as a huge surprise.

"I didn't have a clue what was going on, I found out after everybody else pretty much," Canterbury and Crusaders outside back Bridge said.

"We were in a meeting during the announcement so couldn't really listen to anything so when Joe Maddock read the names out at the end of the meeting and my name was on it, it was pretty unreal," he told Radio Sport.


"It all came to me as a bit of a surprise but I'm pretty stoked, pretty happy with how the year has gone and to be selected it pretty unreal."

Cameron, who also only realised he had been selected after hearing his name read out at the end of the team meeting, revealed that making the squad didn't even seem like a realistic possibly up until yesterday.

The 21-year-old Canterbury first-five, who came of age in the 2017 Mitre 10 Cup with an assured performance in the semifinal, only made one appearance for Crusaders this year.

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"Super Rugby was definitely an aspiration after hopefully a good Mitre 10 Cup season but I definitely didn't think about that," Cameron said.

"It certainly came as a big surprise ... I don't think it will sink in for a little bit but it's definitely pretty cool."

All Blacks Selector Grant Fox and All Blacks coach Steve Hansen named the squad yesterday. Photo / Photosport
All Blacks Selector Grant Fox and All Blacks coach Steve Hansen named the squad yesterday. Photo / Photosport

Both Cameron and Bridge join a wider squad of 19 players, who will assemble in Japan following the Bledisloe Cup test to prepare for the Test against Japan, in addition to the 32-man All Blacks team.

They join a widespread of players from New Zealand's rugby provinces in the squad, with 13 of the Mitre 10 Cup teams represented.


The makeup of the All Blacks squad sees 18 forwards selected, 14 backs, and has a total of 1,061 Test caps experience, an average of 33 Test caps per player.

The other new All Blacks in the wider squad are: Tasman prop Tyrel Lomax and fellow prop, Taranaki's Reuben O'Neill, Hawke's Bay loose forward Gareth Evans, North Harbour halfback Bryn Hall, and Wellington midfielder Matt Proctor.