New Zealand squad for 2016 Rugby Championship – Fixtures and Kick off times

The All Blacks Head Coach, Steve Hansen, and his fellow selectors, Ian Foster and Grant Fox, have named their squad for the upcoming Investec Rugby Championship.

On making the announcement, Hansen stated that he and his management team were very happy with the squad and the combinations they had come up with:

“The form of the players in Investec Super Rugby has been outstanding and, whilst there is not a lot of change from the Steinlager Series squad, it was still a challenging team to select. It was more a case of who do we leave out, rather than who do we pick.”

The squad is as follows: (province, Investec Super Rugby team and Test caps in brackets)

Forwards:

Hookers
Dane Coles (Wellington / Hurricanes, 39); Codie Taylor (Canterbury / Crusaders, 5);
Nathan Harris (Bay of Plenty / Chiefs, 4)

Props
Wyatt Crockett (Canterbury / Crusaders, 48); Charlie Faumuina (Auckland / Blues, 36); Owen Franks (Canterbury / Crusaders, 80); Joe Moody (Canterbury / Crusaders, 14); Ofa Tu’ungafasi (Auckland / Blues, 1)

Locks
Brodie Retallick (Hawke’s Bay / Chiefs, 50); Luke Romano (Canterbury / Crusaders, 24); Patrick Tuipulotu (Auckland / Blues, 9); Samuel Whitelock (Canterbury / Crusaders, 75)

Loose Forwards
Sam Cane (Bay of Plenty / Chiefs, 34); Elliot Dixon (Southland / Highlanders, 1); Jerome Kaino (Auckland / Blues, 69); Kieran Read, captain (Canterbury / Crusaders, 87); Ardie Savea (Wellington / Hurricanes, 2); Liam Squire (Tasman / Highlanders, 1)

Backs:

Scrum halves
Tawera Kerr-Barlow (Waikato / Chiefs, 21); TJ Perenara (Wellington / Hurricanes, 19); Aaron Smith (Manawatu / Highlanders, 50)

Fly-halves
Beauden Barrett (Taranaki / Hurricanes, 39); Aaron Cruden (Manawatu / Chiefs, 39)
Lima Sopoaga (Southland / Highlanders, 2)

Midfielders
Ryan Crotty (Canterbury / Crusaders, 18); Malakai Fekitoa (Auckland / Highlanders, 15); George Moala (Auckland / Blues, 2); Sonny Bill Williams (Counties Manukau / Chiefs, 33)

Outside backs
Israel Dagg (Hawke’s Bay / Crusaders, 51); Waisake Naholo (Taranaki / Highlanders, 6); Julian Savea (Wellington/ Hurricanes, 43); Ben Smith (Otago / Highlanders, 51)

Head Coach Hansen declared the number one goal for the All Blacks is to win the Investec Rugby Championship:

“The quality of the opposition we’ll face during the Investec Rugby Championship will require a growth in our physicality, intensity and the standard of our preparation. How well we do that will be reflected in our results. It’s going to be a very competitive Championship, which we’re all really looking forward to. By the end of the tournament, we’d expect to have a greater understanding of where the 32 individual players are at, and their ability to cope and perform at Test level.”

The All Blacks fixtures for this year’s Investec Rugby Championship are as follows:

1. v Australia. Saturday 20 August, ANZ Stadium, Sydney.
2. v Australia. Saturday 27 August, Westpac Stadium, Wellington.

3. v Argentina. Saturday 10 September, FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton.
4. v South Africa. Saturday 17 September, AMI Stadium, Christchurch

5. v Argentina. Saturday 1 October, Estadio Jose Amalfitani, Buenos Aires.
6. v South Africa. Saturday 8 October, Growthpoint King’s Park, Durban.

Rugby Championship | FIXTURES

All times CAT (SA, GMT+2)
August 2016
20 Australia v New Zealand ANZ Stadium,Sydney 12:05
20 South Africa v Argentina Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit 17:05
27 New Zealand v Australia Westpac Stadium,Wellington 09:35
27 Argentina v South Africa Estadio Padre Ernesto Martearena,Salta 21:40
September 2016
10 New Zealand v Argentina FMG Stadium,Hamilton 09:35
10 Australia v South Africa Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane 12:05
17 New Zealand v South Africa AMI Stadium, Addington, Christchurch 09:35
17 Australia v Argentina NIB Stadium,Perth 12:05
October 2016
1 South Africa v Australia Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria 17:05
2 Argentina v New Zealand Estadio Jose Amalfitani,Buenos Aires 00:10
8 South Africa v New Zealand Growthpoint KINGS Park, Durban 17:05
8 Argentina v Australia Twickenham,London 20:30

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