Quartet set for AB debuts

Aaron Cruden, Israel Dagg, Victor Vito and Benson Stanley are the uncapped players in the All Blacks squad.

Graham Henry announced a 26-man group for the June Tests against Ireland and Wales. Cruden, 21, didn’t start for the Hurricanes at the start of the year but forced his way into that side, and has been named as Dan Carter’s national deputy.

Cruden was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2008 but beat off the disease and has since been named an IRB Junior Rugby Player of the Year for his performances for New Zealand U20.

Highlanders fullback Dagg also earns a call-up, as does Blues centre Stanley due to a number of injuries in the midfield. Vito, a former sevens star, is added to boost the loose forward depth with his Hurricanes team-mate Rodney So’oialo dropped.

There are recalls for halfback Piri Weepu, wing Joe Rokocoko and prop Ben Franks, while the Chiefs trio of Richard Kahui, Aled de Malmanche and Mils Muliaina have been included but are still injury concerns.

Mike Delany (shoulder), Stephen Donald (shoulder), Jason Eaton (knee), Andrew Hore (shoulder), Ma’a Nonu (knee), Sitiveni Sivivatu (shoulder), Isaia Toeava (hip) and Ali Williams (Achilles) were players not considered due to injury.

All Blacks squad -

Forwards: Anthony Boric, Aled de Malmanche, Tom Donnelly, Ben Franks, Owen Franks, Jerome Kaino, Richie McCaw (c), Keven Mealamu, Kieran Read, Adam Thomson, Brad Thorn, Neemia Tialata, Victor Vito, Tony Woodcock.

Backs: Daniel Carter, Jimmy Cowan, Aaron Cruden, Israel Dagg, Zac Guildford, Cory Jane, Richard Kahui, Mils Muliaina, Josevata Rokocoko, Conrad Smith, Benson Stanley, Piri Weepu.