Coles gets All Blacks call
Hurricanes hooker Dane Coles is the surprise inclusion in a 28-man All Blacks rugby training squad to prepare for the inaugural Rugby Championship.
The squad, which will gather in Wellington for two days this week, doesn’t include any players from the Chiefs side who are contesting the Super Rugby final against the Sharks in Hamilton on Saturday.
Coach Steve Hansen has stuck largely by players involved in a similar squad in May but he had included uncapped Coles to add depth to his hooking options.
“We already know a lot about Keven Mealamu, Andrew Hore, Corey Flynn and Hika Elliot and now it’s Dane Coles’s chance to come into the All Blacks environment and gives us the opportunity to see him at closer quarters,” Hansen said in a statement.
“We will mainly be looking to re-establish the way we do things in the All Blacks, and it’ll also give those players who haven’t played much rugby recently, the chance for a good hit-out.”
The camp on Wednesday and Thursday will be followed by an All Blacks squad naming for the Rugby Championship on Sunday.
The All Blacks’ first Test is against the Wallabies in Sydney on August 18.
Players attending the camp: