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Legendary All Back backs class of 2016

Former New Zealand wing Jeff Wilson is confident that the All Blacks of 2016 can have “great success” in a new era for the national side.



Several new faces were named by Steve Hansen in his first squad of the year, as experienced men have now retired after World Cup success.

Wilson though believes there is ample quality in the group but was quick to warn the All Blacks about their June opener, which could be tricky.

“The first Test of the year is always hard. It’s a tough one to prepare for, get ready and make sure you understand the game plan,” he told the All Blacks website.

“I imagine things will be kept pretty simple for the Test in Auckland – particularly when considering there are a number of players new to the All Blacks environment in the squad.”

On the selection made by the All Blacks, Wilson had no complaints as he looked ahead to a mouth-watering Test series against Wales.

“They’ve gone for experience by bringing back players like Israel Dagg. Then they’ve looked to the future with guys like Liam Squire and Elliot Dixon who have both played so well over the past couple of years. The bottom line is the performance of players has been rewarded and they have put trust in players who have done the job before,” he said.

He added: “This is a squad to beat Wales, win the Rugby Championship and go on the end of year tour and have great success. Although we have lost a lot of talent, there are players ready to step up and take their opportunity.”