3 Barrett brothers named in All Blacks squad
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) New Zealand has named three members of the Barrett family – flyhalf Beauden and his uncapped brothers Scott and Jordie – in an enlarged squad for an end of year rugby tour to the United States and Europe.
Beauden Barrett is New Zealand's first choice No. 10 and was an automatic selection for the touring party which will play Ireland in Chicago before tests in Europe against Ireland, France and Italy.
Lock Scott Barrett has been named as cover for Sam Whitelock who is likely to be sidelined for up to three weeks with an ankle injury. Whitelock's regular locking partner Brodie Retallick is also under a cloud with a possible concussion and another uncapped lock, Vaea Fifita, is on standy.
Utility back Jordie Barrett has been named as the tour apprentice, meaning he won't play but will train with the squad to gain experience.
''It has huge benefits for a young player,'' head coach Steve Hansen said. ''Jordie will get all the experiences of touring and being part of the All Blacks group without the pressures of having to perform on the park.
''He is an outstanding prospect and has a big future in the game.''
The squad also includes the Savea brothers, winger Julian and lock Ardie.
Teenaged winger Reiko Ioane has also been named. Ioane was a member of the New Zealand sevens team which competed at this year's Rio de Janiero Olympics and has been on the fringe of All Blacks selection all season.
His Auckland teammate Steven Luatua has been recalled after playing 14 tests in 2013 and 2014 while hooker Liam Coltman has been named after providing injury cover throughout the past season.
''I didn't know if I was in with a shot or not,'' Ioane said after learning of his selection on Sunday. ''My dream since I was a little kid was always to be an All Black and to be able to get that call this morning was huge not only for myself but the family as well.''
Hansen said the All Blacks selectors value Ioane's combination of strength and speed.
''He's a big player and a big man and he can run fast so he's not the finished product yet at 19 but there's plenty there that we can work with and I'm sure we'll see a very, very good rugby player come out at the other end over the next few years,'' he said.
Hansen said the tour ''will give us the opportunity to continue to blend this group of young talent with the more experienced group so we can future proof our side going forward into the next few years.''
New Zealand squad: Dane Coles, Codie Taylor, Liam Coltman, Wyatt Crockett, Charlie Faumuina, Owen Franks, Joe Moody, Ofa Tu'ungafasi, Brodie Retallick, Luke Romano, Patrick Tuipulotu, Samuel Whitelock, Sam Cane, Elliot Dixon, Jerome Kaino, Steven Luatua, Kieran Read (captain), Ardie Savea, Liam Squire, Matt Todd, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, T.J. Perenara, Aaron Smith, Beauden Barrett, Aaron Cruden, Lima Sopoaga, Ryan Crotty, Malakai Fekitoa, Anton Leinert-Brown, George Moala, Israel Dagg, Rieko Ioane, Damian McKenzie, Waisake Naholo, Julian Savea, Ben Smith.
Injury replacements: Scott Barrett, Vaea Fifita. Apprentice: Jordie Barrett.