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Stalwart flanker back for the All Blacks

Veteran flanker Jerome Kaino is one of three familiar faces who have been recalled by the All Blacks while a group of senior players will miss the Argentinian leg of the Rugby Championship.

 
 

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The team’s management are looking to manage the squad across a demanding playing and international travel schedule.

The 28-man squad to travel to Argentina for the All Blacks away Test has been named on Monday with three players, loose forwards Kaino and Matt Todd and lock Patrick Tuipulotu, re-joining the squad.

Six players will stay home from Argentina and join the squad in South Africa. They are locks Samuel Whitelock and Brodie Retallick, loose forwards Liam Squire and Sam Cane and backs Beauden Barrett and Ryan Crotty.

A group of players will also head home after the Argentina Test, with details confirmed following the Buenos Aires Test.

All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen said it was vital to try and keep players fresh and performing at their very best at this time of the year, with the All Blacks playing eight matches in nine weeks across multiple time zones, taking in the back end of the Rugby Championship, the third Bledisloe Cup match and the end-of-year tour.

“We struggled at times last year, this is the hardest time of the year for us, so we are just trying to think outside the box and think of ways to keep the players fresh,” he told the All Blacks’ official website.

“This also gives us a chance to build player depth and experience.

“It puts a lot of pressure on us going to Argentina because they are a good side and we’ll need to play well to perform there, but we’re confident that the group we are taking there will be able to do the job.”

Meanwhile, replacement players Akira Ioane and Tim Perry will return to their Mitre 10 Cup provincial teams, while Nathan Harris and Kaino will also play for their provinces this week.

The All Blacks squad will travel to Argentina on Friday.

 
 

 
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