The bulk of the squad from the July Tests against Ireland have been retained as the All Blacks set their sights on the Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup Tests. The squad features the return of Highlanders forwards Ethan de Groot and Shannon Frizell, who have been selected in the full-time squad after providing injury cover during the July series.
With Angus Ta’avao, Brodie Retallick and Jack Goodhue making their way back from suspension and injury, the All Blacks selectors have called in temporary cover. Braydon Ennor, Tyrel Lomax and the uncapped Josh Dickson will join the squad for the South African leg of the tournament. Blues and Taranaki playmaker Stephen Perofeta is the only other uncapped player.
“We have taken on board the lessons from the Steinlager series and are excited about looking forward to the next phase of our Test season,” said Foster.
“The Rugby Championship plus the Bledisloe Cup remain our top priorities. This is a real chance to show what we are about as a team.”
New Zealand Rugby CEO Mark Robinson also added: "The past fortnight has been a challenging time for us and of course our fans. There have been some thorough conversations this week, as there always are around our performance environments, and these will continue.
“It’s exciting to be heading back to South Africa for the first time in several years - we have two big games ahead of us there and our focus now is to support the team to improve performance and be successful.”
The All Blacks will have a two-day camp in Wellington next week before travelling to South Africa for back-to-back Tests against the Springboks. The team then returns to New Zealand for two consecutive Tests against Argentina, in Christchurch and Hamilton. The final phase consists of two Bledisloe Tests against the Wallabies, split between Melbourne and Auckland.
The 36-strong All Blacks squad (with age, Super Rugby club and Test caps in brackets):
Dane Coles (35, Hurricanes / Wellington, 81)
Samisoni Taukeiaho (24, Chiefs / Waikato, 11)
Codie Taylor (31, Crusaders / Canterbury, 69)
Aidan Ross (26, Chiefs / Bay of Plenty, 1)
George Bower (30, Crusaders / Otago, 14)
Nepo Laulala (30, Blues / Counties Manukau, 41)
Ofa Tu’ungafasi (30, Blues / Northland, 47)
Ethan de Groot (23, Highlanders / Southland, 4)
Angus Ta’avao (32, Chiefs / Auckland, 22)
Scott Barrett (28, Crusaders / Taranaki, 50)
Brodie Retallick (31, Chiefs / Hawke’s Bay, 95)
Patrick Tuipulotu (29, Blues / Auckland, 42)
Tupou Vaa’i (22, Chiefs / Taranaki, 12)
Samuel Whitelock (33, Crusaders / Canterbury, 134)
Sam Cane – Captain (30, Chiefs / Bay of Plenty, 80)
Shannon Frizell (28, Highlanders / Tasman, 17)
Akira Ioane (27, Blues / Auckland, 14)
Dalton Papalii (24, Blues / Counties Manukau, 15)
Ardie Savea (28, Hurricanes / Wellington, 62)
Hoskins Sotutu (24, Blues / Counties Manukau, 10)
Finlay Christie (26, Blues / Tasman, 6)
Folau Fakatava (22, Highlanders / Hawke’s Bay, 2)
Aaron Smith (33, Highlanders / Manawatu, 105)
Beauden Barrett (31, Blues / Taranaki, 104)
Richie Mo’unga (28, Crusaders / Canterbury, 35)
Stephen Perofeta (25, Blues / Taranaki *)
Jack Goodhue (27, Crusaders / Northland, 18)
David Havili (27, Crusaders / Tasman, 16)
Rieko Ioane (25, Blues / Auckland, 50)
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (29, Blues / Auckland, 1)
Quinn Tupaea (23, Chiefs / Waikato, 9)
Jordie Barrett (25, Hurricanes / Taranaki, 39)
Caleb Clarke (23, Blues / Auckland, 5)
Leicester Fainga’anuku (22, Crusaders / Tasman, 2)
Will Jordan (24, Crusaders / Tasman, 15)
Sevu Reece (25, Crusaders / Tasman, 20)
Replacement players travelling to South Africa:
Josh Dickson (27, Highlanders / Otago, *)
Braydon Ennor (25, Crusaders / Canterbury, 5)
Tyrel Lomax (26, Hurricanes / Tasman, 14)
Unavailable for selection due to injury - Joe Moody, Anton Lienert-Brown, Ethan Blackadder and Josh Lord. Unavailable for selection due to New Zealand Rugby return to play criteria - Damian McKenzie.