All Blacks name 35-man squad ahead of series with Ireland
Last updated on .From the section Rugby Union
New Zealand have included 21 of their World Cup-winning squad in a 35-man panel for training camps ahead of the three-Test series against Ireland.
New coach Steve Hansen has drafted in some uncapped players for the three-day training camps in Auckland and Wellington later this month.
Out-half Dan Carter, who missed the latter stages of the World Cup with injury, is also included.
New Zealand play Ireland in the first Test in Auckland on 9 June.
Hansen will trim the squad to 30 ahead of the opening Test against Ireland.
He has omitted wingers Zac Guildford and Hosea Gear from the squad for the training camps and thrown a lifeline to misfiring backs Piri Weepu and Ma'a Nonu.
Both have struggled since crossing from the Hurricanes into an Auckland Blues side that has proved a colossal disappointment with only two wins after 12 weeks of the season.
"Obviously Piri's got a few questions marks around him with the way he's been playing," said Hansen
"We've had a sit-down with him and made it pretty clear what our expectations are of him and he's got to meet those expectations by the end of the last camp - otherwise he won't be considered for selection."
Dan Carter has struggled to recover from a troublesome groin injury that ruled him out of the latter stages of the World Cup and has been starting at inside centre in recent weeks for the Crusaders, relinquishing kicking duties to fly-half Tom Taylor.
Hansen said the ploy would not be repeated at national level.
"If he starts for the All Blacks, it'll be at 10 in the June series," Hansen said.
Hansen defended his youthful, extended squad while conceding a number would be unlikely to see international action this season.
"We do have a large amount of the squad getting near 30 or plus-30 (years of age). Over the next one to four years we're going to have to make some changes.
"We feel that at some point (the younger players) will don the All Blacks jersey and why not bring them in and let them experience the huge expectations and the feelings that go in that camp."
All Blacks squad: Charlie Faumuina, Ma'a Nonu, Keven Mealamu, Piri Weepu, Ali Williams, Tony Woodcock, Sam Cane, Aaron Cruden, Richard Kahui, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Brodie Retallick, Ben Tameifuna, Sonny Bill Williams, Beauden Barrett, Cory Jane, Julian Savea, Brad Shields, Conrad Smith, Victor Vito, Dan Carter, Wyatt Crockett, Israel Dagg, Andy Ellis, Ben Franks, Owen Franks, Richie McCaw, Kieran Read, Luke Romano, Luke Whitelock, Sam Whitelock, Tamati Ellison, Andrew Hore, Aaron Smith, Ben Smith, Adam Thomson.