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All Blacks name Scott Barrett as new captain

New Zealand Rugby CEO Mark Robinson (L) talks with captain Scott Barrett after the New Zealand rugby international Test squad announcement at the Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre in Christchurch on June 24, 2024. PHOTO: AFP

WELLINGTON (AFP) – Scott Barrett was named captain of the All Blacks on Monday by head coach Scott Robertson, as he unveiled his first squad for a two-Test series against England next month.

Barrett takes over from Sam Cane, who stepped down having skippered New Zealand since 2020. Robertson made loose forward Ardie Savea, voted world player of 2023, and centre Jordie Barrett his vice-captains.

“I’m hugely honoured and grateful for the opportunity,” the 30-year-old Scott Barrett said at the squad unveiling in Christchurch.

“I’m excited about what’s ahead and understand it’s a huge job with a lot of pressure, but excited to see where this team is going.”

The lock steps up having made 69 Test appearances in the famous black shirt since his debut in 2016.

There are three Barrett siblings in the All Blacks squad, with elder brother Beauden also named.

Robertson, who has taken over as coach from Ian Foster, named five uncapped players in his 32-man squad.

The new faces are Canterbury Crusaders hooker George Bell, Waikato Chiefs scrum-half Cortez Ratima and No 8 Wallace Sititi, along with Wellington Hurricanes prop Pasilio Tosi and centre Billy Proctor.

New Zealand host England in Dunedin on July 6, then at Auckland’s Eden Park a week later, before taking on Fiji in San Diego on July 20.