Akira Ioane gets All Blacks call, Nonu overlooked

Uncapped back-row Akira Ioane has been included in an extended New Zealand squad for a foundation day ahead of the international season - but there is no place for Ma'a Nonu.

Ioane was one of 41 players named on Tuesday, along with his brother and prolific wing Rieko Ioane.

However, there was no place for veteran centre Nonu in a squad that will assemble for a gathering in Wellington on April 15.

All North Island-based players will meet up again on May 20 in Auckland, while those on the South Island will gather in Christchurch on June 3.

New Zealand Rugby head of high performance Mike Anthony revealed the dates had been chosen during a meeting with Super Rugby coaches and All Blacks management last year.

"Given the All Blacks have an incredibly short lead-in time to the upcoming international season, culminating in the Rugby World Cup, and with there being no camps during the Super Rugby season, the foundation days will provide an opportunity for All Blacks management and our leading players to start building towards what is a huge year ahead," he said.

 

New Zealand squad:

Forwards: Dane Coles, Liam Coltman, Nathan Harris, Codie Taylor, Owen Franks, Nepo Laulala, Tyrel Lomax, Joe Moody, Angus Ta'avao, Karl Tu'inukuafe, Ofa Tuungafasi, Scott Barrett, Jackson Hemopo, Brodie Retallick, Patrick Tuipulotu, Sam Whitelock, Sam Cane, Vaea Fifita, Shannon Frizell, Akira Ioane, Kieran Read, Ardie Savea, Liam Squire, Matt Todd, Luke Whitelock.
 
Backs: TJ Perenara, Aaron Smith, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Beauden Barrett, Damian McKenzie, Richie Mo'unga, Ryan Crotty, Jack Goodhue, Ngani Laumape, Anton Lienert-Brown, Sonny Bill Williams, Jordie Barrett, George Bridge, Rieko Ioane, Waisake Naholo, Ben Smith.
 

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