Weepu gets All Black recall
Thu, 19 Sep 2013 18:46
Injured McCaw also on tour
Veteran scrumhalf Piri Weepu has been recalled to the New Zealand squad for the two-match Rugby Championship tour of Argentina and South Africa.
Another surprise selection is injured captain Richie McCaw.
Seven weeks after Weepu's Test career looked over, the 71 Test veteran will replace Wellington's injured scrumhalf TJ Perenara.
All Black coach Steve Hansen said Perenara is expected to be sidelined for at least six weeks, after suffering a stress fracture in his lower left leg.
"It's obviously a huge disappointment for him and us because, even though he hasn't had any game time yet for the All Blacks, he has been developing well within the squad," Hansen said.
"We have selected Piri as a replacement for two reasons: one, given the environments we are going into, it would be unfair to bring in a novice scrumhalf; and secondly, we have also seen advances in his game in the areas we asked him to improve in," he said.
Hansen has decided to take an injured McCaw in his 28-man squad for the All Blacks' away leg of the Rugby Championship, leaving Matt Todd with Canterbury.
Hansen hopes the captain will make full recovery before the crunch match against the Springboks, which will take place at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on October 5
"With Richie, we believe that the best chance of having him available to play against South Africa is by having him travel with the squad and getting 'hands-on' treatment from the All Blacks medical staff," the All Blacks coach said.
A decision on whether or not McCaw is available to play against South Africa will be made later in the week in Argentina.
If he's not available, then Todd will join the squad in South Africa.
But the decision to carry McCaw means Sam Cane will be the only fit openside flank, and that there will only be 27 fit players available, for next weekend's Test against Los Pumas, at Estadio Ciudad de La Plata.
Tom Taylor has been confirmed as the replacement for Dan Carter, who has been ruled out for six weeks with a shoulder injury.
Carter was the victim of a crunching tackle by Bismarck du Plessis.
The Springbok hooker was controversially shown a yellow card for the tackle by referee French Romain Poite and then sent off early in the second half when he received another yellow card for an arm-fend that struck Liam Messam in the chest - the Kiwi flank then producing an act befitting of an Oscar, to dupe the clueless match officials into reducing the South Africans to just 14 men for virtually the entire second half.
The All Blacks depart Auckland for Argentina on Saturday, September 21.
They play Argentina at Estadio Ciudad de La Plata, La Plata, next Saturday, September 28, and South Africa the following weekend (Saturday, October 5) at Ellis Park, Johannesburg.
Hookers: Dane Coles, Andrew Hore and Keven Mealamu.
Props: Wyatt Crockett, Charlie Faumuina, Ben Franks, Owen Franks and Tony Woodcock.
Locks: Brodie Retallick, Jeremy Thrush and Samuel Whitelock.
Loose forwards: Sam Cane, Steven Luatua, Richie McCaw, Liam Messam and Kieran Read.
Scrumhalves: Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Aaron Smith and Piri Weepu.
Flyhalves: Beauden Barrett, Aaron Cruden and Tom Taylor.
Midfielders: Ma'a Nonu and Conrad Smith.
Outside backs: Israel Dagg, Charles Piutau, Julian Savea and Ben Smith.
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