Five new caps in All Blacks squad

Highlanders wing Waisake Naholo has been included in the All Blacks' 41-man squad for the Rugby Championship.

The Fijian scored two tries in Saturday's win against the Chiefs to take his tally for the season to 11.

Coach Steve Hansen has also called up Hurricanes outside back Nehe Milner-Skudder, Highlanders flyhalf Lima Sopoaga, Hurricanes lock James Broadhurst and Crusaders hooker Codie Taylor.

Meanwhile, Crusaders prop Nepo Laulala has been named as an injury replacement for Charlie Faumuina, who has a neck injury, but is expected to return to rugby near the end of the Rugby Championship. Twenty-six Test All Black and Crusaders scrumhalf Andy Ellis has also been named as a replacement player for Tawera Kerr-Barlow, who will be released to play some games until he is ready to return to international duty.

Players not considered for selection due to injury were scrumhalf Augustine Pulu, flyhalf Aaron Cruden, hooker Nathan Harris, loose forward Stephen Luatua and lock Patrick Tuipulotu.

The All Blacks squad boasts an average age of 27, with 33 new players now introduced to the national setup in the last four seasons.

All Blacks squad – Dane Coles, Hika Elliot, Keven Mealamu, Codie Taylor, Wyatt Crockett, Charlie Faumuina, Ben Franks, Owen Franks, Joe Moody, Tony Woodcock, James Broadhurst, Brodie Retallick, Luke Romano, Jeremy Thrush, Sam Whitelock, Sam Cane, Jerome Kaino, Richie McCaw (c), Liam Messam, Kieran Read, Matt Todd, Victor Vito, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, TJ Perenara, Aaron Smith, Beauden Barrett, Dan Carter, Colin Slade, Lima Sopoaga, Ryan Crotty, Malakai Fekitoa, Ma'a Nonu, Conrad Smith, Sonny Bill Williams, Israel Dagg, Cory Jane, Nehe Milner-Skudder, Waisake Naholo, Charles Piutau, Julian Savea, Ben Smith.

Photo: Dianne Manson/Getty Images

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Simon Borchardt