Sunday 24 September 2017

Kidney calls on Ronan as injuries mount ahead of tour

MUNSTER'S Niall Ronan was added to Declan Kidney's Ireland squad late last night as a replacement for the injured Kevin McLaughlin as All Black coach Graham Henry named four uncapped players in his squad for the Tests against Ireland and Wales.

Aaron Cruden, Israel Dagg, Benson Stanley and Victor Vito have been included in the New Zealand panel for the June 12 Test against Declan Kidney's side.

Cruden, who recovered from testicular cancer to lead New Zealand to the World U-20 title last year, will provide opposition to Dan Carter for the No 10 shirt.

Flanker Vito and full-back Dagg have had impressive Super 14 seasons, while Luke McAlister's demotion to the Maori squad opens the door for centre Stanley.

A host of injuries to established players means Henry will take the opportunity to blood some new players ahead of next year's World Cup. The other notable selections were the recall of scrum-half Piri Weepu and wing Joe Rokocoko.

Meanwhile, England warmed up for their tour of Australia and New Zealand with a confidence-boosting 35-26 win against the Barbarians at Twickenham. James Haskell, Shontayne Hape, Ben Foden and Mike Tindall all touched down as England cruised to victory.

Toulon-bound winger Paul Sackey (2) and replacements David Smith and Census Johnson recorded consolation tries.

New Zealand (squad v Ireland/Wales) -- Forwards: A Boric (North Harbour), A de Malmanche (Waikato), T Donnelly (Otago), B Franks (Tasman), O Franks (Canterbury), J Kaino (Auckland), R McCaw (Canterbury, capt), K Mealamu (Auckland), K Read (Canterbury), A Thomson (Otago), B Thorn (Canterbury), N Tialata (Wellington), V Vito (Wellington), T Woodcock (North Harbour). Backs: D Carter (Canterbury), J Cowan (Southland), A Cruden (Manawatu), I Dagg (Hawke's Bay), Z Guildford (Hawke's Bay), C Jane (Wellington), R Kahui (Waikato), M Muliaina (Waikato), J Rokocoko (Auckland), Conrad Smith (Wellington), Benson Stanley (Auckland), Piri Weepu (Wellington).

Irish Independent

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