All Blacks bring in three players

Date published: July 2 2015

All Blacks boss Steve Hansen has added three players to his training group ahead of next Wednesday's Test against Samoa in Apia.

Crusaders utility back Tom Taylor and Chiefs centres Charlie Ngatai and Seta Tamanivalu are the new faces in the squad. Taylor has represented the All Blacks in three Tests, while the Maori All Blacks captain Ngatai and Tamanivalu are both uncapped.

They joined Ofa Tu'ungafasi, George Moala and Brad Weber who were added to the side last week.

There was a chance that some of them would be included in the Test squad when the team is named on Monday.

Speaking of the newest inclusions, Hansen said Tamanivalu had a 'fantastic' season for Taranaki last year in the ITM Cup, he was a strong midfielder and had a lot of pace. 

Due to a lack of opportunities he hadn't been able to show off in the Super Rugby season with the Chiefs where Sonny Bill Williams and Ngatai were favoured in front of him.

Ngatai had been playing very well and it was another example of how blessed New Zealand were with midfield options, he said.

"In most other countries he would probably already have had a Test by now," Hansen told

Taylor was cover in the event of injury to Dan Carter or Colin Slade at fly-half. There was also the consideration that full-backs Israel Dagg and Charlie Piutau would not be able to play full games.

"We always knew this was going to be a challenge, both on the park and preparing for it because the date that it falls on, which we chose, but it gives us a good build-in to Argentina and allows us to get all but 17 of the squad some training time," added Hansen.

While the management had not thought New Zealand would have two teams in the Super Rugby Final, they had prepared for that eventuality just in case.

And the newcomers have been assisted in their exposure to the All Blacks fold.

"When you come into the All Black environment it is overwhelming whether you are the coach, a manager or a player," explained Hansen. 

"All of a sudden it is 'Wow, I'm in here now and I've actually got to do the business.' 

"But at the same it is exciting because it is something that people have always wanted to do, particularly the players. As a player that is the ultimate goal and when you reach that it's just the beginning."