10 Aug 2010

All Blacks to play in NPC this weekend, AB's squad for SA named

3:06 pm on 10 August 2010

A number of the All Blacks squad have again been made available for National provincial rugby games this week, ahead of the All Blacks departure to South Africa this weekend.

The 26-man All Blacks squad flies to South Africa on Saturday to prepare for the Tri Nations Test against South Africa in Johannesburg on August 21, with loose forward Liam Messam and midfielder Richard Kahui, to stay in New Zealand.

Halfback Jimmy Cowan, who is recovering from a rib cartilage injury, will be assessed by All Blacks medical staff on Thursday to see if he is fit to travel.

If he's ruled out, Wellington's Alby Mathewson will travel in his place.

Tasman's Ben Franks could square off against Hawke's Bay's Israel Dagg when the two sides clash in Blenhiem on Thursday.

Corey Flynn and Sam Whitelock are available for Canterbury's Friday night showdown in Christchurch with North Harbour, who have the services of Anthony Boric if required.

Liam Messam could front for Waikato against Taranaki in Hamilton on Sunday afternoon.

The squad: Forwards, John Afoa, Anthony Boric, Tom Donnelly, Corey Flynn, Ben Franks, Owen Franks, Jerome Kaino, Richie McCaw, Keven Mealamu, Kieran Read, Brad Thorn, Victor Vito, Samuel Whitelock and Tony Woodcock.

Backs: Daniel Carter, Jimmy Cowan / Alby Mathewson, Aaron Cruden, Israel Dagg, Cory Jane, Mils Muliaina, Ma'a Nonu, Rene Ranger, Josevata Rokocoko, Conrad Smith, Benson Stanley and Piri Weepu.