No shocks in AB squad

Canterbury scrumhalf Andy Ellis is the only new cap in the All Blacks’ 32-man end-of-year touring squad.

Ellis replaces Jimmy Cowan, who started against the Boks at the end of the Vodacom Tri-Nations.

Locks Keith Robinson and James Ryan have been recalled, while Wellington centre Conrad Smith and Otago utility Nick Evans have returned from major injuries.

“We need to find out about him [Ellis],” All Blacks backs coach Wayne Smith told “He’s bright, he’s highly competitive – he reminds me a bit of Justin Marshall with his competitiveness. He had a good Super 14 and Air New Zealand Cup.”

Coach Graham Henry said the main reason for Ellis’ selection was to test him in the international environment.

“We know what Jimmy [Cowan] can do. And it’s fair to say Andrew, had he been available for the Tri-Nations, would have been selected. It’s an opportunity really for us to see what he can bring to the group,” he said.

All Black touring squad:

John Afoa, Auckland
Dan Carter, Canterbury
Jerry Collins, Wellington
Clarke Dermody, Southland
Jason Eaton, Taranaki
Andy Ellis, Canterbury
Nick Evans, Otago
Rico Gear, Tasman
Carl Hayman, Otago
Andrew Hore, Taranaki
Chris Jack, Tasman
Byron Kelleher, Waikato
Luke McAlister, North Harbour
Richie McCaw, Canterbury (Captain)
Leon MacDonald, Canterbury
Chris Masoe, Wellington
Aaron Mauger, Canterbury
Keven Mealamu, Auckland
Malili Muliaina, Waikato
Ma’a Nonu, Wellington
Anton Oliver, Otago
Keith Robinson, Waikato
Josevata Rokocoko, Auckland
James Ryan, Otago
Sitiveni Sivivatu, Waikato
Conrad Smith, Wellington
Rodney So’oialo, Wellington
Reuben Thorne, Canterbury
Neemia Tialata, Wellington
Piri Weepu, Wellington
Ali Williams, Auckland
Tony Woodcock, North Harbour

Four recent All Blacks were unavailable for selection due to injury: Troy Flavell, Doug Howlett, Angus Macdonald and Greg Somerville.