Reuters

Pulu gets All Blacks call-up for Australia Test

Pulu gets All Blacks call-up for Australia Test
By Reuters

10/10/2014 at 08:05Updated 10/10/2014 at 08:25

Uncapped scrum-half Augustine Pulu has been called into the New Zealand squad for next week's Test against Australia in Brisbane in place of the injured Tawera Kerr-Barlow.

Kerr-Barlow was ruled out for at least six months after tearing knee ligaments in the 27-25 Rugby Championship defeat to South Africa in Johannesburg last weekend.

Pulu's inclusion and the call-up of an extra lock in Patrick Tuipulotu aside, coach Steve Hansen has resisted making wholesale changes to his squad for the dead rubber Bledisloe Cup Test at Lang Park.

Winger Ben Smith has been rested after playing every minute of a triumphant Rugby Championship campaign, while fly-half Aaron Cruden returns after missing his country's last two Tests for disciplinary reasons.

With Dan Carter still unavailable because of the calf injury he sustained after recovering from a broken leg, Cruden will compete with Beauden Barrett and Colin Slade for the number 10 shirt.

Pulu, who is back-up to Kerr-Barlow at the Waikato Chiefs in Super Rugby, has earned his call-up with some impressive performances in New Zealand's provincial championship with Counties Manukau.

"The selectors have been watching Augustine for a while, he is an exciting young player and we think the next obvious choice at halfback," Hansen said.

The world champions are already assured of retaining the Bledisloe Cup after a 12-12 draw and 51-20 victory in their first two matches against Australia this year.

Squad:

Forwards - Dane Coles, Nathan Harris, Keven Mealamu, Wyatt Crockett, Charlie Faumuina, Ben Franks, Owen Franks, Joe Moody, Brodie Retallick, Jeremy Thrush, Patrick Tuipulotu, Sam Whitelock, Sam Cane, Jerome Kaino, Steven Luatua, Richie McCaw, Liam Messam, Kieran Read.

Backs - Augustine Pulu, TJ Perenara, Aaron Smith, Aaron Cruden, Beauden Barrett, Colin Slade, Ryan Crotty, Conrad Smith, Malakai Fekitoa, Israel Dagg, Cory Jane, Charles Piutau, Julian Savea

0
0