18 Oct 2009

Four new caps named in All Blacks squad

2:58 pm on 18 October 2009

All Black selectors have sprung surprises in their squad to tour the northern hemisphere, naming four new players.

The new caps are Bay of Plenty first-five eighth Mike Delany, Hawke's Bay wing Zac Guildford, Wellington utility back Tamati Ellison, and Otago fullback and wing Ben Smith.

Coach Graham Henry says Smith has the skill set needed in the modern game, is good under the high ball, and is a good kicker and counter-attacker.

Delany has played exceptionally well, Henry says, has a big kicking game and is a great attacker, but also counter-attacks effectively and has skill with the high ball.

Joe Rokocoko, Hosea Gear, Isaac Ross and Aled de Malmanche were dropped.

There are recalls for lock Anthony Boric, hooker Corey Flynn, and halfback Andy Ellis, who are all coming back from injury.

The All Blacks squad will assemble in Auckland for a training camp this week before flying out for their first match against Australia in Tokyo which takes place on 31 October. The team will go on to Cardiff, Milan, London and Marseille.

Full squad: John Afoa, Anthony Boric, Dan Carter, Jimmy Cowan, Wyatt Crockett, Mike Delany, Stephen Donald, Tom Donnelly, Jason Eaton, Andy Ellis, Tamati Ellison, Corey Flynn, Owen Franks, Zac Guildford, Andrew Hore, Cory Jane, Jerome Kaino, Tanerau Latimer, Brendon Leonard, Luke McAlister, Richie McCaw (captain), Liam Messam, Mils Muliaina, Ma'a Nonu, Kieran Read, Sitiveni Sivivatu, Ben Smith, Conrad Smith, Rodney So'oialo, Adam Thomson, Brad Thorn, Neemia Tialata, Tony Woodcock.

Players not considered for selection due to injury include Piri Weepu, Isaia Toeava, Lelia Masaga, Keven Mealamu, Bryn Evans (back), Richard Kahui and Ali Williams.