All Blacks Decide To Leave 6 Of Their Best Players At Home For Argentina Trip
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Talk about depth.
Steve Hansen has decided to leave locks Samuel Whitelock and Brodie Retallick, loose forwards Liam Squire and Sam Cane and backs Beauden Barrett and Ryan Crotty all at home for this week’s trip to Argentina. They will however, join back up with the squad for the trip to South Africa.
The All Blacks have named a 28-man squad to travel to Argentina, with loose forwards Jerome Kaino and Matt Todd and lock Patrick Tuipulotu, all re-joining the All Blacks squad.
All Blacks squad
Forwards: Wyatt Crockett, Kane Hames, Nepo Laulala, Jeffery To’omaga Allen, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Dane Coles, Codie Taylor, Nathan Harris, Scott Barrett, Luke Romano, Patrick Tuipulotu, Vaea Fifita, Jerome Kaino, Kieran Read (captain), Ardie Savea and Matt Todd.
Backs: Tawera Kerr-Barlow, TJ Perenara, Aaron Smith, Lima Sopoaga, Anton Lienert-Brown, Ngani Laumape, Sonny Bill Williams, Rieko Ioane, David Havili, Damian McKenzie, Nehe Milner-Skudder and Waisake Naholo.
A group of players will also head home after the Argentina Test, with details confirmed following the Buenos Aires Test match. Hansen said it was vital to try and keep players fresh and performing at their very best at this time of the year, with the All Blacks playing eight matches in nine weeks across multiple time zones.
“We struggled at times last year, this is the hardest time of the year for us, so we are just trying to think outside the box and think of ways to keep the players fresh. This also gives us a chance to build player depth and experience.” Hansen said.
“It puts a lot of pressure on us going to Argentina because they are a good side and we’ll need to play well to perform there, but we’re confident that the group we are taking there will be able to do the job.”