All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has named a 35-man squad for the Rugby Championship that will be captained by Kieran Read.
Kieran Read, who missed the June Test series against France with a back injury, regains the captaincy from Sam Whitelock, who led the Crusaders to a second consecutive Super Rugby title on Saturday.
The All Blacks squad increased from 33 to 35 players with the addition of two injury replacements. Highlanders hooker Liam Coltman and Hurricanes centre Ngani Laumape will cover Dane Coles and Sonny Bill Williams respectively.
Somewhat surprisingly, there is no space for George Bridge and Bryn Hall, who both starred for the Crusaders this year, while teammate Matt Todd misses out after taking a contract in Japan.
There are two potential debutants in 30-year-old prop Tim Perry and young scrumhalf Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, who was also included in the squad in June.
All Blacks squad – Dane Coles (replacement: Liam Coltman), Nathan Harris, Codie Taylor Owen Franks, Joe Moody, Tim Perry, Karl Tu’inukuafe, Ofa Tuungafasi, Scott Barrett, Brodie Retallick, Sam Whitelock, Sam Cane, Shannon Frizell, Jackson Hemopo, Kieran Read (c), Ardie Savea, Liam Squire, Luke Whitelock, TJ Perenara, Aaron Smith, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Beauden Barrett, Damian McKenzie, Richie Mo’unga, Ryan Crotty, Jack Goodhue, Anton Lienert-Brown, Sonny Bill Williams (replacement: Ngani Laumape), Jordie Barrett, Rieko Ioane, Nehe Milner-Skudder, Waisake Naholo, Ben Smith.
Photo: Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images
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