INTERNATIONALS

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen includes winger Rieko Ioane for November tour

New Zealand face Ireland twice as well as Italy and France in the United States and Europe next month following Saturday’s Bledisloe Cup win over Australia

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 23 October, 2016, 12:01pm
UPDATED : Monday, 24 October, 2016, 8:05pm

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has called up 19-year-old outside back Rieko Ioane to the New Zealand squad for next month’s tour of the United States and Europe.

The world champions, who became the first top tier nation to win 18 consecutive test matches with their 37-10 victory over the Wallabies at Eden Park on Saturday, kick off the tour against Ireland at Chicago’s Soldier Field on November 5.

They face Italy a week later in Rome, Ireland again on November 19 in Dublin, before rounding out the tour in Paris against France the following Saturday.

Hansen said the tour represented another step in the “re-establishment” of the side following the loss of six stalwarts, including all-time greats Richie McCaw and Dan Carter, after the 2015 World Cup.

Watch: New Zealand squad named

“We welcome in Rieko, who has been picked for the first time. He has shown tremendous abilities and deserves his opportunity,” Hansen said.

“Younger players will get more experience within the All Blacks environment, and it’ll allow the selectors and coaching group to keep working on blending the mixture of young talent with the more experienced players in our group.

New Zealand overcome Australia in Bledisloe Cup for record 18th straight test triumph

“This will allow our game to continue to improve and will help ensure the team is future-proofed.”

Sam Whitelock could miss a chunk of the tour after picking up an ankle strain against Australia, while fellow lock Brodie Retallick will undergo concussion protocols this week after picking up a head knock.

Sonny Bill Williams, Charlie Ngatai and Nehe Milner-Skudder were not considered for the touring party due to injuries.

The 36-man squad has a combined 1,157 test caps and is captained by number eight Kieran Read.

After setting a new mark for consecutive top tier victories, the All Blacks are now closing in on the overall test record held by Cyprus, who won 24 straight by beating the likes of Austria, Bulgaria and Luxembourg before their streak was snapped by Latvia in November 2014.