Blues stars into All Black squad

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has selected several uncapped players in his 38 man training group, including Frank Halai and Steven Luatua.

No overseas-based players were considered, given the current NZRFU policy.

Among the uncapped players invited to the training session are: Blues stars Frank Halai, Steven Luatua, Charles Piutau and Francis Saili, Chiefs prop Ben Afeaki, the Hurricanes trio of TJ Perenara, Brad Shields and Jeff Toomaga-Allen, and the Crusaders duo of Dominic Bird and Tom Taylor.

The Chiefs have six players in the squad while the Hurricanes and Crusaders both have nine. The Blues have eight players and the struggling Highlanders six

All Blacks training squad:

Blues: Frank Halai, Steven Luatua, Keven Mealamu, Charles Piutau, Rene Ranger, Francis Saili, Piri Weepu and Ali Williams.

Chiefs: Ben Afeaki, Sam Cane, Aaron Cruden, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Liam Messam and Brodie Retallick.

Hurricanes: Beauden Barrett, Dane Coles, Ben Franks, TJ Perenara, Julian Savea, Brad Shields, Conrad Smith, Jeff Toomaga-Allen and Victor Vito.

Crusaders: Dominic Bird, Daniel Carter, Wyatt Crockett, Israel Dagg, Owen Franks, Kieran Read, Luke Romano, Tom Taylor and Samuel Whitelock.

Highlanders: Hosea Gear, Andrew Hore, Ma’a Nonu, Aaron Smith, Ben Smith and Tony Woodcock.