Two novices make cut as New Zealand name touring party for Europe

Last Updated: 28/10/12 11:55pm

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Steve Hansen: Unbeaten record

Steve Hansen: Unbeaten record

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New Zealand have named two uncapped players in a 32-man squad for their forthcoming European tour.

Tawera Kerr-Barlow and Dane Coles are the only novices in the party for Test matches against Scotland, Italy, Wales and England.

Waikato's Kerr-Barlow takes the third scrum-half spot previously held by Andy Ellis while Coles of Wellington joins veteran hookers Keven Mealamu and Andrew Hore.

Coach Steve Hansen said Coles and Kerr-Barlow are "young and exciting players who have shown this year that they look more than capable of stepping up to Test match rugby."

Lock Ali Williams is back for the first time since June after a successful rehabilitation from knee surgery, while flanker Adam Thomson has also been recalled despite the imminent expiry of his New Zealand Rugby Union contract.

The All Blacks are unbeaten under Hansen, who said: "Tours to the northern hemisphere always bring unique challenges and this tour will be no different.

"For many of the newer players in the All Blacks it will be the first time they have experienced test matches in the UK and Europe, and they are always big occasions."

Forwards: Dane Coles, Andrew Hore, Keven Mealamu, Wyatt Crockett, Charlie Faumuina, Ben Franks, Owen Franks, Tony Woodcock, Brodie Retallick, Luke Romano, Ali Williams, Samuel Whitelock, Sam Cane, Richie McCaw, Liam Messam, Kieran Read, Adam Thomson, Victor Vito.

Backs: Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Aaron Smith, Piri Weepu, Beauden Barrett, Daniel Carter, Aaron Cruden, Tamati Ellison, Ma'a Nonu, Conrad Smith, Israel Dagg, Hosea Gear, Cory Jane, Ben Smith.

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