Berliner Tageblatt - 'Honoured' Scott Barrett named All Blacks captain as England await

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'Honoured' Scott Barrett named All Blacks captain as England await
'Honoured' Scott Barrett named All Blacks captain as England await / Photo: © AFP

'Honoured' Scott Barrett named All Blacks captain as England await

Scott Barrett was named captain of the All Blacks on Monday by head coach Scott Robertson, as he unveiled his first squad for a two-Test series against England next month.

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Barrett takes over from Sam Cane, who stepped down having skippered New Zealand since 2020. Cane was not considered for the squad because of injury.

Robertson made loose forward and 2023 world player of the year Ardie Savea his vice-captain along with Barrett's brother, the centre Jordie.

"I'm hugely honoured and grateful for the opportunity," the 30-year-old Scott Barrett said at the squad unveiling in Christchurch.

"I'm excited about what's ahead and understand it's a huge job with a lot of pressure, but excited to see where this team is going."

Barrett made his Test debut in 2016 in a 40-29 defeat to Ireland in Chicago.

He has shown his versatility since, making 69 Test appearances as either a lock or loose forward.

The son of former Wellington Hurricanes forward Kevin Barrett, the new All Blacks captain was brought up as one of eight siblings on a family farm.

There are three Barrett siblings in the squad, with elder brother Beauden -- the 2016 and 2017 world player of the year -- the other.

Robertson, who has taken over from Ian Foster, named five uncapped players in his 32-man squad.

The new faces are Canterbury Crusaders hooker George Bell, Waikato Chiefs scrum-half Cortez Ratima and No 8 Wallace Sititi, along with Wellington Hurricanes prop Pasilio Tosi and centre Billy Proctor.

New Zealand host England in Dunedin on July 6, then at Auckland's Eden Park a week later, before taking on Fiji in San Diego on July 20.

- Perenara returns -

Hurricanes scrum-half TJ Perenara completes a remarkable comeback to the All Blacks after snapping his Achilles tendon in late 2022.

The 80-Test veteran returned to rugby in March after more than a year on the sidelines following back-to-back surgeries, having ruptured the same ligament during his rehabilitation.

He proved his form with the Hurricanes this season by setting a new all-time record for the most tries in Super Rugby.

"I'm really proud, there is a lot of work that has gone into it," Perenara said.

"That chapter has closed now on recovering and a new chapter starts on trying to be a great All Black again."

The 32-year-old admitted shedding a few tears when he got the phone call to say he had been recalled.

"I was trying to get the words out to my wife that I had made it, that was pretty special.

"There was a time when I didn't think I would play another game again," he said of his recovery.

"That feeling of not being able to play makes me so grateful for being out on the field again."

New Zealand squad:


Hookers: Asafo Aumua (Hurricanes), Codie Taylor (Canterbury), George Bell (Crusaders)

Props: Ethan De Groot (Highlanders), Tyrel Lomax (Hurricanes), Fletcher Newell (Crusaders), Pasilio Tosi (Hurricanes), Ofa Tu’ungafasi (Blues), Tamaiti Williams (Crusaders)

Locks: Scott Barrett (Crusaders) (Capt), Tupou Vaa’i (Chiefs), Patrick Tuipulotu (Blues)

Loose forwards: Ethan Blackadder (Crusaders), Samipeni Finau (Chiefs), Luke Jacobson (Chiefs), Dalton Papali’i (Blues), Ardie Savea (Hurricanes) (vice-captain), Wallace Sititi (Chiefs)


Scrum-halves: Finlay Christie (Blues), TJ Perenara (Hurricanes), Cortez Ratima (Chiefs)

Fly-halves: Beauden Barrett (Blues), Damian McKenzie (Chiefs)

Centres: Jordie Barrett (Hurricanes) (vice captain), Rieko Ioane (Blues), Anton Lienert-Brown (Chiefs), Billy Proctor (Hurricanes)

Wingers/fullbacks: Caleb Clarke (Blues), Emoni Narawa (Chiefs), Stephen Perofeta (Blues), Sevu Reece (Crusaders), Mark Telea (Blues)