Emoni Narawa Makes All Blacks Squad for Rugby Championship

The All Blacks have named their 36-man squad for the upcoming Lipovitan-D Rugby Championship, and it features five uncapped players, including Emoni Narawa.

The Fiji-born 23-year-old forced his way into the ABs’ first squad of the year on the back of an impressive performance with the Chiefs in the Super Rugby Pacific competition. He was a regular starter for the side and was considered one of the fasters players with the ball in hand.

After graduating from Hamilton Boys’ High School, he made his debut for Bay of Plenty under the guidance of Chiefs’ coach Clayton McMillan. Since then, he has made 37 appearances for the Union with 24 tries to his name. Narawa had a brief stint with the Blues in 2020-21, making seven appearances, before linking up with the Chiefs in 2022 where he found his stride. Whether playing as a fullback or on the wing, he has been a valuable asset to his team, notching up five tries in just nine games.

Joining Narawa in the ranks of uncapped players are his Chiefs teammate Samipeni Finau, Hurricanes’ Cam Roigard, as well as Crusaders’ duo Dallas McLeod and Tamaiti Williams.

Speaking on their selection, coach Ian Foster said: “We have a new group of exciting players who will be keen to make a difference in the All Black jersey.”

Sevu Reece was among 10 players, who missed out on selection due to injury concerns.

The 36-member squad is as follows: (age, Super Rugby club, province, Test caps).

  • denotes new caps

Hookers:
Codie Taylor (32, Crusaders / Canterbury, 76)
Dane Coles (36, Hurricanes / Wellington, 84)
Samisoni Taukei’aho (25, Chiefs / Waikato, 24)

Props:
Ethan de Groot (24, Highlanders / Southland, 13)
Fletcher Newell (23, Crusaders / Canterbury, 6)
Nepo Laulala (31, Blues / Counties Manukau, 45)
Ofa Tu’ungafasi (31, Blues / Northland, 50)
Tamaiti Williams (22, Crusaders / Canterbury, *)
Tyrel Lomax (27, Hurricanes / Tasman, 23)

Locks:
Brodie Retallick (32, Chiefs / Hawkes Bay, 100)
Josh Lord (22, Chiefs / Taranaki, 2)
Samuel Whitelock (34, Crusaders / Canterbury, 143)
Scott Barrett (29, Crusaders / Taranaki, 58)
Tupou Vaa’i (23, Chiefs / Taranaki, 18)

Loose forwards:
Ardie Savea (29, Hurricanes / Wellington, 70)
Dalton Papali’i (25, Blues / Counties Manukau, 22)
Luke Jacobson (26, Chiefs / Waikato, 12)
Sam Cane (captain) (31, Chiefs / Bay of Plenty, 86)
Samipeni Finau (24, Chiefs / Waikato, *)
Shannon Frizell (29, Highlanders / Tasman, 25)

Halfbacks:
Aaron Smith (34, Highlanders / Manawatu, 114)
Finlay Christie (27, Blues / Tasman, 14)
Cam Roigard (22, Hurricanes / Counties Manukau, *)

First-five eighths:
Beauden Barrett (32, Blues / Taranaki, 112)
Damian McKenzie (28, Chiefs / Waikato, 40)
Richie Mo’unga (29, Crusaders / Canterbury, 44)

Midfielders:
Anton Lienert-Brown (28, Chiefs / Waikato, 60)
Jordie Barrett (26, Hurricanes / Taranaki, 48)
Rieko Ioane (26, Blues / Auckland, 59)
Braydon Ennor (25, Crusaders / Canterbury, 6)
Dallas McLeod (24, Crusaders / Canterbury, *)

Outside backs:
Caleb Clarke (24, Blues / Auckland, 15)
Emoni Narawa (23, Chiefs / Bay of Plenty, *)
Leicester Fainga’anuku (23, Crusaders / Tasman, 2)
Mark Telea (26, Blues / North Harbour, 2)
Will Jordan (25, Crusaders / Tasman, 21)

Note: Shaun Stevenson (26, Chiefs / North Harbour, *) has been added as injury cover for Mark Telea for the start of the Lipovitan-D Rugby Championship.

The All Blacks will convene for a training camp at Mount Maunganui from June 21-23 for the non-Super Rugby Pacific finalists. The full squad will assemble in Auckland on June 27, before travelling to Mendoza for the opening Test of the year against Argentina on Saturday, July 8.

FIXTURES:

WEEK 1 vs. ARGENTINA. Saturday 8 July, 4:10pm (7:10am, Sunday 9 July NZT), Estadio Malvinas, MENDOZA

WEEK 2 vs. SOUTH AFRICA. Saturday 15 July, 7.05pm, Go Media Stadium Mt Smart, AUCKLAND

WEEK 3 vs. AUSTRALIA. Saturday 29 July, 7.45pm (9:45pm NZT), Melbourne Cricket Ground, MELBOURNE

WEEK 4 vs. AUSTRALIA. Saturday 5 August, 2.35pm, Forsyth Barr Stadium, DUNEDIN

Photo Courtesy Of: Chiefs Rugby

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