Monday 23 October 2017

Undefeated All Blacks eager to finish season with a flourish


ALL BLACKS coach Steve Hansen has said his world champions are not unbeatable as they finished off their southern hemisphere season with a win over Australia.

The former Wales supremo has named Dan Carter and Richie McCaw in his squad for their upcoming November tour games against Japan, France, England and Ireland, as the All Blacks look to finish the season unbeaten.

"I don't think we've got any right to go around thumping our chests saying that we're unbeatable," Hansen said. "We'll get our feet back on the ground and stay humble and keep working hard. We realise that if we don't, then others will come past us."

Hansen has included five uncapped players in his 36-man squad. Crusaders trio of prop Joe Moody, second-row Dominic Bird and back-row Luke Whitelock make the plane, while scrum-half TJ Perenara of the Hurricanes and Blues wing Frank Halai are also included.

New Zealand will travel in high spirits after overcoming the Wallabies in a high-scoring Bledisloe Cup clash at Dunedin thanks to tries from Savea, Sam Cane, Aaron Cruden and Kieran Read. Australia, who also visit Dublin, refused to lie down and scored three tries of their own through Adam Ashley Cooper, Matt Toomua and Tevita Kuridrani.

NEW ZEALAND SQUAD – Forwards: D Coles, A Hore, K Mealamu, W Crockett, C Faumuina, O Franks, B Franks, J Moody, T Woodcock, B Retallick, J Thrush, D Bird, L Romano, S Whitelock, S Cane, S Luatua, R McCaw (captain), L Messam, K Read, L Whitelock. Backs: T Kerr-Barlow, A Smith, TJ Perenara, B Barrett, A Cruden, D Carter, T Taylor, M Nonu, R Crotty, F Saili, I Dagg, F Halai, C Jane, C Piutau, J Savea, B Smith.

Irish Independent

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