Eight Crusaders have been named in the All Blacks travelling squad heading to Argentina for the first test of the year.
The All Blacks take on Argentina at Estadio Malvina Argentinas in Mendoza on Sunday 9 July at 7.10am NZ Time.
The team will be without Leicester Fainga’anukua and Will Jordan, both staying home in a precautionary move with Fainga’anuku nursing a calf injury and Jordan managing his recurring migrain-related condition.
Codie Taylor, who’s racked up 76 test caps in the black jersey, will bring his consistency to the scrum and line out, while Fletcher Newell (six caps) and potential-debutant Tamaiti Williams will provide strength and pressure to the forward pack. Scott Barrett brings experience and leadership to the locks having played 58 tests in the black.
Two Crusaders who signed off their time with the squad will travel too. Veteran All Black Samuel is ready to add to his mammoth 143 test caps. Only Richie McCaw stands ahead of him on the All Blacks all-time most caps table on 148. Will he overtake his teammate this season? If he does it’s unlikely anyone will catch him.
Richie Mo’unga’s last act in the red and black was a conversion and a penalty in Hamilton against the Chiefs to clinch the lead and the Super Rugby Pacific title. He now turns his attention to national duties at first-five adding to his 44 test caps.
The midfield is looking strong thanks in part to Braydon Ennor, a relative newcomer to the black jersey with six caps. Standing alongside him on the team sheet will be Dallas McLeod, potential All Black debutant who capped off a stellar ’23 Super Rugby season with All Black selection.
- Codie Taylor
- Fletcher Newell
- Tamaiti Williams
- Sam Whitelock
- Scott Barrett
- Richie Mo’unga
- Braydon Ennor
- Dallas McLeod