Rugby World Cup 2019: All Blacks cut six players for Bledisloe Cup tests

Rookie flanker Luke Jacobson has survived the first All Blacks cut of 2019.

The Chiefs prospect has been chosen in a reduced squad for the two upcoming Bledisloe Cup tests.

Jacobson has been selected over Shannon Frizell who played 80 minutes in the 16-all draw against the Springboks last weekend.

The selectors have also dropped Josh Ioane, Karl Tu'inukuafe, Dalton Papali'i and Asafo Aumua, while injured lock Brodie Retallick hasn't been considered. 

Scott Barrett has been included in the 34-man squad as he nears full fitness after breaking an index finger against the Hurricanes in the Super Rugby semi-final. 

"Bledisloe Cup tests are always massive tests," coach Steve Hansen said on Wednesday.

"We know that the Wallabies will be confident after their win over Argentina and desperate to win this first match, so we're looking forward to getting to Perth and getting into our test preparation.

"The Bledisloe Cup is the second most important trophy for us, after the Rugby World Cup, and we're really looking forward to the next two tests coming up. 

"Two weeks together will give us solid preparation towards growing our game understanding and getting our execution honed, so that's exciting.


"The last time the All Blacks played in Perth was way back in 1992 (against a Western Australia side) but this will be an historic first test for us in the city, so we're also looking forward to catching up with our fans over there."

Hansen further added that Highlanders first five-eighth Ioane had also been invited to assemble with the squad to continue his development.

Josh Ioane.
Josh Ioane. Photo credit: Getty

Meanwhile, Nepo Laulala and Sonny Bill Williams will both play for Counties Manukau in a pre-Mitre 10 Cup season game on Saturday.

Laulala will then join the squad in Perth, while Williams will stay and play Counties Manukau's Mitre 10 Cup season opener on Saturday August 10, before joining the squad in Auckland for the second Bledisloe Cup test week.

All Blacks 31-man squad: 

Forwards
Hookers:
Dane Coles, Liam Coltman and Codie Taylor.
Props: Owen Franks, Nepo Laulala, Joe Moody, Atu Moli, Angus Ta'avao and Ofa Tuungafasi.
Locks: Scott Barrett, Jackson Hemopo, Patrick Tuipulotu and Samuel Whitelock.
Loose forwards: Sam Cane, Vaea Fifita, Luke Jacobson, Kieran Read, Ardie Savea and Matt Todd.

Backs
Halfbacks:
TJ Perenara, Aaron Smith and Brad Weber.
First five-eighths: Beauden Barrett and Richie Mo'unga.
Midfielders: Jack Goodhue, Ngani Laumape, Anton Lienert-Brown and Sonny Bill Williams.
Utility backs: Braydon Ennor and Jordie Barrett.
Outside backs: George Bridge, Rieko Ioane, Sevu Reece and Ben Smith.

More to follow 

 

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