Coles, Barrett trio named in All Blacks squad for Lions series
WELLINGTON – Injured All Blacks hooker Dane Coles was named alongside three Barrett brothers in Steve Hansen’s All Blacks squad for the three-test series against the British and Irish Lions on Thursday.
Like Coles, who has barely played this season because of knee and calf injuries and concussion symptoms, captain Kieran Read and fellow loose forwards Liam Squire and Jerome Kaino were also were included in the 33-man squad despite not being fully fit.
Five additional players — centre Jack Goodhue, hooker Liam Coltman and loose forwards Akira Ioane, Vaea Fifita and Matt Todd — have been named as injury cover.
Uncapped fullback Jordie Barrett, flyhalf Beauden and lock Scott became the first trio of brothers to be named in the same All Blacks squad.
Hansen said he had no reservations about selecting Wellington Hurricanes’ 20-year-old Jordie.
“His performances for the Hurricanes have been outstanding,” he said. “If you’re ready, you’re ready.
“It’s your ability to cope with pressure and display your skills and perform at that level.
“He has done that very easily … and we think he is ready to step in and face whatever is chucked at him”
Hansen also selected bullocking inside centre Ngani Laumape after his scintillating season with the Hurricanes.
“He has been a standout, hasn’t he?” Hansen added of the uncapped Laumape, who played union as a teenager, signed with rugby league’s New Zealand Warriors before switching codes to union and joining the Hurricanes last year.
“For a young man who has just come back to rugby after spending a wee time in the wilderness playing league, to have him playing as well as he is, is great for New Zealand rugby.”
Laumape’s selection and the introduction of Canterbury Crusaders centre Goodhue as injury cover has resulted in Malakai Fekitoa, who was part of the 2015 World Cup winning squad, missing out altogether.