3 Jun 2013

Six new caps in All Blacks squad to play France

12:43 pm on 3 June 2013

Six new caps have been named in the All Blacks squad for the three-test series against France.

The Auckland duo of fullback Charles Piutau and loose forward Steven Luatua, the North Harbour pair of prop Ben Afeaki and second five Francis Saili, the Wellington lock Jeremy Thrush and Canterbury loose forward Matt Todd are the newcomers in the 32-strong squad.

Todd's been been included as injury cover for Canterbury lock Sam Whitelock, who's recovering from a broken finger and expected to be available for the third test.

Number eight Kieran Read will captain the side in the absence of Richie McCaw is on a sabbatical.

The first test against France is in Auckland on Saturday.

The full squad is:

Dane Coles, Andrew Hore, Keven Mealamu, Ben Afeaki, Wyatt Crockett, Ben Franks, Owen Franks, Tony Woodcock, Brodie Retallick, Luke Romano, Jeremy Thrush, Samuel Whitelock, Sam Cane, Steven Luatua, Liam Messam, Kieran Read (captain), Victor Vito, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Aaron Smith, Piri Weepu, Beauden Barrett, Daniel Carter, Aaron Cruden, Ma'a Nonu, Rene Ranger, Francis Saili, Conrad Smith, Israel Dagg, Charles Piutau, Julian Savea, Ben Smith, Matt Todd (injury replacement)