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Barrett named New Zealand’s new captain

  • Lock Barrett named All Blacks captain for England.

Lock Scott Barrett has been named New Zealand’s new captain while five uncapped players have been called up for the All Blacks’ upcoming Tests against England and Fiji.

Barrett, 30, will have his brother Jordie and reigning World Player of the Year Ardie Savea as his vice-captains.

Two-time World Player of the Year Beauden is the third Barrett brother in new coach Scott Robertson’s first All Black squad.

Uncapped loose forward Wallace Sititi’s outstanding season for the Waikato Chiefs has been rewarded with a first call-up.

The All Blacks face England on 6 July in Dunedin and then a week later in Auckland, before playing Fiji in San Diego, California on 20 July.

“When you think of the leaders who have gone before you, it’s quite humbling to be asked to captain the All Blacks, so it’s not something I took lightly,” said Barrett, who has earned 69 caps since making his international debut in 2016.

“It’s a big responsibility, but I have two great leaders beside me in Ardie and Jordie.”

Robertson has replaced Ian Foster, who left after last year’s World Cup final defeat by South Africa.

“There are some great leaders in our group, but having that existing connection to Scott was important,” said Robertson who coached Barrett for seven years at the Crusaders.

“He’s tactically astute, he leads from the front, and he’s got the respect of the players and coaches.”

Previous captain Sam Cane, who is set to retire from international rugby at the end of the year, was not considered because of injury.

The other uncapped players joining Sititi in the 32-man squad are scrum-half Cortez Ratima, hooker George Bell, prop Pasilio Tosi and centre Billy Proctor.

TJ Perenara and Patrick Tuipulotu, who both missed New Zealand’s World Cup campaign in France through injury, return to the squad.

Scrum-half Perenara, who has 80 caps, spent more than a year on the side-lines following back-to-back surgeries, having ruptured the same ligament during his rehabilitation.

“As a coaching group, we are excited about the squad we’ve selected,” Robertson added. “We know it’s a group that can play the style of rugby we want the All Blacks to play in 2024.”

New Zealand squad:

Forwards: Asafo Aumua (Hurricanes), Codie Taylor (Crusaders), George Bell (Crusaders), Ethan De Groot (Highlanders), Tyrel Lomax (Hurricanes), Fletcher Newell (Crusaders), Pasilio Tosi (Bay of Plenty), Ofa Tu’ungafasi (Blues), Tamaiti Williams (Canterbury), Scott Barrett (Crusaders), Tupou Vaa’i (Chiefs), Patrick Tuipulotu (Blues), Ethan Blackadder (Crusaders), Samipeni Finau (Chiefs), Luke Jacobson (Chiefs), Dalton Papali’i (Blues), Ardie Savea (Hurricanes), Wallace Sititi (Chiefs)

Backs: Finlay Christie (Blues), TJ Perenara (Hurricanes), Cortez Ratima (Chiefs), Beauden Barrett (Toyota Verblitz), Damian McKenzie (Chiefs), Jordie Barrett (Hurricanes), Rieko Ioane (Blues), Anton Lienert-Brown (Chiefs), Billy Proctor (Hurricanes), Caleb Clarke (Blues), Emoni Narawa (Chiefs), Stephen Perofeta (Blues), Sevu Reece (Crusaders), Mark Tele’a (Blues)

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