There’s One Massive Omission In The All Blacks’ Bledisloe Cup Squad
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All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has dropped Hurricanes winger Julian Savea from his squad for the Rugby Championship.
The prolific winger’s name is the most notable one missing from the 33-man group unveiled on Monday for the championship which begins with next week’s Test against the Wallabies in Sydney.
There are recalls for Hurricanes outside back Nehe Milner-Skudder and prop Nepo Laulala, who both last played for New Zealand in 2015 before being struck down with serious injuries.
Hooker Dane Coles returns after missing the Lions series with concussion symptoms. Not considered were centre Malakai Fekitoa, first five-eighth Aaron Cruden and prop Charlie Faumuina after signing overseas contracts.
New Zealand squad
Backs: Ben Smith, Jordie Barrett, Israel Dagg, Nehe Milner-Skudder, Waisake Naholo, Rieko Ioane, Ryan Crotty, Anton Lienert-Brown, Sonny Bill Williams, Ngani Laumape, Beauden Barrett, Lima Sopoaga, Damian McKenzie, Aaron Smith, TJ Perenara, Tawera Kerr-Barlow
Forwards: Kieran Read (capt), Liam Squire, Jerome Kaino, Sam Cane, Ardie Savea, Vaea Fifita, Luke Romano, Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick, Scott Barrett, Owen Franks, Nepo Laulala, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Wyatt Crockett, Joe Moody, Dane Coles, Codie Taylor, Nathan Harris.