Rugby: All Blacks name 51-man squad for northern tour to Europe, Japan

Matt Todd.
Matt Todd. Photo credit: Photosport

Crusaders flanker Matt Todd has been recalled to the All Blacks 51-man squad for their northern tour to Europe and Japan. 

Todd was named in the main 32-man squad for the tests against Australia, England, Ireland and Italy next month. 

It was thought the 30-year-old would be unavailable for selection, as he is currently playing with Japanese club Panasonic. However, he has been granted an exemption by New Zealand Rugby, because he is contracted to the Crusaders for next season. 

Todd's inclusion helps cover for the absence of injured loose forwards Sam Cane, Shannon Frizell and Jordan Taufua.

all blacks backs

Cane is recovering from a fractured bone in his neck, suffered during the All Blacks' 32-30 win over the Springboks in Pretoria. 

"We thank the NZR Board and Panasonic for supporting the selection of Matt," said coach Steve Hansen. "It's much appreciated."

Auckland flanker Dalton Papali'i is the only uncapped player named in the main squad, with a total of eight new All Blacks named in the 19-man squad for the Japan game.

Hooker Dane Coles is back, after missing most of the 2018 season and coming through his Mitre 10 Cup match for Wellington against Taranaki on Friday.

Props Nepo Laulala and Joe Moody also return to the national side, after injury-hampered seasons, with both players returning to Mitre 10 Cup action on the weekend.

all blacks forwards

The All Blacks will take 32 players to face the Wallabies in the third Bledisloe test in Yokohama next Saturday night, with 22 then flying to London to begin preparations for the tests in Europe and 19 players coming in for the test against Japan in Tokyo on November 3.

"Having the extra group come to Japan will allow us to send the bulk of our main squad to London early to acclimatise and prepare for what will be three big test matches in the Northern Hemisphere, starting with England," said Hansen.

"Bringing in the wider-squad players also allows us to grow our player depth and will expose them to the international arena, which we think will be great for their development and, in turn, will benefit New Zealand Rugby in the long-term.

all blacks to japan

"We'll also be using the Japanese leg of our tour to road-test a few things ahead of next year’s Rugby World Cup, as we will be using the same hotels and training facilities while we are there.

"We’re also playing Australia and Japan at two of our Rugby World Cup venues."

All Blacks to Japan and Europe

Hookers: Dane Coles, Nathan Harris, Codie Taylor

Props: Owen Franks, Nepo Laulala, Joe Moody, Karl Tu'inukuafe, Ofa Tuungafasi

​Locks: Scott Barrett, Brodie Retallick, Patrick Tuipulotu, Sam Whitelock

Loose forwards: Vaea Fifita, Dalton Papali'i*, Kieran Read (c), Ardie Savea, Liam Squire, Matt Todd

Halfbacks: TJ Perenara, Aaron Smith, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi

First five-eighths: Beauden Barrett, Damian McKenzie, Richie Mo'unga

Midfielders: Ryan Crotty, Jack Goodhue, Anton Lienert-Brown, Sonny Bill Williams

Outside backs: Jordie Barrett, Rieko Ioane, Waisake Naholo, Ben Smith


All Blacks to Japan only

Hookers: Asafo Aumua, Liam Coltman

​Props: Tyrel Lomax*, Reuben O'Neill*, Tim Perry, Angus Ta'avao

Locks: Luke Romano

Loose forwards: Jackson Hemopo, Gareth Evans*, Dillon Hunt, Luke Whitelock

Halfbacks: Mitchell Drummond*, Bryn Hall*

First five-eighths: Brett Cameron* 

Midfielders: Ngani Laumape, Matt Proctor*

Outside backs: George Bridge*, David Havili, Nehe Milner-Skudder

* New All Blacks

All Blacks northern tour schedule

All Blacks vs Australia at Nissan Stadium, Yokohama on October 27

All Blacks vs Japan at Ajinomoto Stadium, Tokyo on November 3

All Blacks vs England at Twickenham, London on November 11

All Blacks vs Ireland at Aviva Stadium, Dublin on November 18

All Blacks vs Italy at Stadio Olimpico, Rome on November 25


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