Rugby: TJ Perenara, Joe Moody, Ofa Tuungafasi all return in All Blacks' squad for Rugby Championship

The All Blacks have welcomed back the experienced trio of TJ Perenara, Ofa Tuungafasi and Joe Moody for the upcoming Rugby Championship.

Coach Ian Foster has named his 36-man squad for the tests against Australia, South Africa and Argentina, with the All Blacks campaign beginning on August 21.

Sam Whitelock will continue to captain the side in the absence of regular skipper Sam Cane, whom coach Foster expects to miss the competition altogether.

Perenara, 29, returns to the All Blacks after his stint in the Japanese Top League and replaces Finlay Christie, who made his debut in the 102-0 victory over Tonga at Mt Smart Stadium.

The 69-test halfback had been ineligible for the tests against Tonga and Fiji, because he hadn’t played any rugby in New Zealand during the 2021 season, but has since turned out for Wellington club side Norths.

Christie will remain with the All Blacks as injury cover in preparation for the Rugby Championship.

Props Moody, 32, and Tuungafasi, 29, both having missed the Pacific tests due to injury.

Their returns mean recent debutants Ethan de Groot and George Bower drop out of the 36-man squad, although the latter will stay on as injury cover, with Moody not expected to be fully fit until after the trans-Tasman series later this month.

The Bledisloe Cup begins on August 7, with the All Blacks hosting Australia at Eden Park.

Braydon Ennor, who missed the Pacific tests with appendicitis, has also been named, expected to cover both midfield and wing.

Hooker Samisoni Taukei'aho will also stay with the side, providing injury cover for Asafo Aumua and Dane Coles. The 23-year-old scored two tries in his test debut against Fiji in Hamilton last Saturday.

All Blacks:

Forwards: Asafo Aumua, Dane Coles, Codie Taylor, Nepo Laulala, Tyrel Lomax, Joe Moody, Angus Ta'avao, Karl Tu'inukuafe, Ofa Tuungafasi, Scott Barrett, Brodie Retallick, Tupou Vaa'i, Sam Whitelock, Ethan Blackadder, Shannon Frizell, Akira Ioane, Luke Jacobson, Dalton Papalii, Ardie Savea, Hoskins Sotutu

Backs: TJ Perenara, Aaron Smith, Brad Weber, Beauden Barrett, Richie Mo'unga, Braydon Ennor, David Havili, Rieko Ioane, Anton Lienert-Brown, Quinn Tupaea, Jordie Barrett, George Bridge, Will Jordan, Damian McKenzie, Sevu Reece.