19 Oct 2009

New All Black Mike Delany surprised at elevation

6:46 am on 19 October 2009

Bay of Plenty first-five Mike Delany's still getting his head around his surprise call-up for the All Blacks' end of year tour.

Delany's one of four new All Blacks announced for the Tokyo Test and the European matches.

Hawkes Bay winger Zac Guildford and Wellington mid-fielder Tamati Ellison were expected but Otago fullback-winger Ben Smith heads the list of bolters, followed by Mike Delany, who's scratching his head but nonetheless very pleased with his sudden elevation.

Delany says he's just tried to play a senior role for Bay of Plenty as he hopes they hold onto their Air New Zealand Cup place and he can't put his new status down to anything other than his consistency in the competition.

He says he found out the same way as everyone else and his family's very happy.

There was no room for Isaac Ross - sent to the gym to bulk up - or Piri Weepu, who's off to have his problem ankle operated on.

Joe Rokocoko, Hosea Gear have high ball work-ons to go with kicking practice, defence and combination work and the call to take just two hookers means Aled de Malmanche misses out.

There are recalls for North Harbour lock Anthony Boric, Waikato flanker Liam Messam and the Canterbury pair of Corey Flynn and Andy Ellis.