16 May 2013

Selectors retain bulk of last year's ABs squad for training camp

6:24 am on 16 May 2013

The All Blacks selectors have retained the bulk of last year's squad in a 38-man training squad.

The Chiefs loosie Sam Cane is the only openside flanker in the group and he'll be expected to play the June tests in the absence of captain Richie McCaw.

Four halfbacks have been included, Aaron Smith, Piri Weepu, Tawera Kerr-Barlow and TJ Perenara.

The Blues provide a number of their backs with Frank Halai, Charles Piutau, Rene Ranger and Francis Saili all given a chance to impress the selectors.

Six Highlanders will attend the second camp on their return from South Africa.

The first camp starts in Mt Maunganui on Sunday in preparation for the three Test series against France next month.

Blues: Frank Halai, Steven Luatua, Keven Mealamu, Charles Piutau, Rene Ranger, Francis Saili, Piri Weepu and Ali Williams

Chiefs: Ben Afeaki, Sam Cane, Aaron Cruden, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Liam Messam and Brodie Retallick

Hurricanes: Beauden Barrett, Dane Coles, Ben Franks, TJ Perenara, Julian Savea, Brad Shields, Conrad Smith, Jeff Toomaga-Allen and Victor Vito

Crusaders: Dominic Bird, Daniel Carter, Wyatt Crockett, Israel Dagg, Owen Franks, Kieran Read, Luke Romano, Tom Taylor and Samuel Whitelock

Highlanders: Hosea Gear, Andrew Hore, Ma'a Nonu, Aaron Smith, Ben Smith and Tony Woodcock