Four Blues named in ABs

Four Blues named in ABs

Prop Ofa Tu’ungafasi is one of six newcomers named in the All Blacks for the three June internationals against Wales in New Zealand.

Ofa is one of four Blues named by the All Black selectors today, joined by Jerome Kaino, Charlie Faumuina and Patrick Tuipulotu.

Also George Moala is on stand-by as injury cover for Charlie Ngatai.

Jerome and Charlie return from the World Cup winning All Black team with 100 international caps between them.

But it is a return for Patrick who was forced out of World Cup reckoning with long term injury, making the difficult decision to undertake surgery last year looking ahead to his future.

Ofa received noted support from coach Steve Hansen.

“Ofa can play on both sides of the scrum, and there are not many who are able to do that. Without him we would have to carry six props,” Hansen said.

“Ofa has size, physicality and is athletic. He is also a good scrummager and he will get better. We believe that with some work from Mike Cron he will get better.

“And he is a very good athlete.”

The full team is:

Forwards

Hookers
Dane Coles (Wellington, 36 Tests)
Codie Taylor (Canterbury, four Tests)
Nathan Harris (Bay of Plenty, two Tests)

Props
Wyatt Crockett (Canterbury, 45 Tests)
Charlie Faumuina (Auckland, 33 Tests)
Owen Franks (Canterbury, 78 Tests)
Joe Moody (Canterbury, 11 Tests)
Ofa Tu’ungafasi (Auckland, new cap)


Locks
Brodie Retallick (Hawke’s Bay, 47 Tests)
Luke Romano (Canterbury, 22 Tests)
Patrick Tuipulotu (Auckland, seven Tests)
Samuel Whitelock (Canterbury, 73 Tests)

Loose Forwards
Sam Cane (Bay of Plenty, 31 Tests)
Elliot Dixon (Southland, new cap)
Jerome Kaino (Auckland, 67 Tests)
Kieran Read, captain (Canterbury, 84 Tests)
Ardie Savea (Wellington, new cap)

Liam Squire (Tasman, new cap)

Backs

Halfbacks
Tawera Kerr–Barlow (Waikato, 20 Tests)
Aaron Smith (Manawatu, 47 Tests)

First five–eighths

Beauden Barrett (Taranaki, 36 Tests)
Aaron Cruden (Manawatu, 37 Tests)
Lima Sopoaga (Southland, one Test)

Midfielders
Ryan Crotty (Canterbury, 15 Tests)
Malakai Fekitoa (Auckland, 13 Tests)
Charlie Ngatai (Taranaki, one Test)
Seta Tamanivalu (Taranaki, new cap)

Outside backs

Israel Dagg (Hawke’s Bay, 49 Tests)
Damian McKenzie (Waikato, new cap)
Waisake Naholo (Taranaki, three Tests)
Julian Savea  (Wellington, 41 Tests)
Ben Smith (Otago, 48 Tests)