Aumua bolts into All Blacks tour squad

The freakish skills of hooker Asafo Aumua have earned him an All Blacks call-up as one of four uncapped players for the tour of the United Kingdom and France.

Blues winger Matt Duffie, Crusaders centre Jack Goodhue and Crusaders prop Tim Perry are the other new faces in the 37-man squad for five matches in November.

The recall of outside back Seta Tamanivalu and prop Jeffery Toomaga-Allen are other talking points, along with the omission of world-class lock Brodie Retallick on compassionate grounds.

Hansen has continued the rebuilding which has marked 2017 for the world champions.

It’s a process that has come with some pain, having drawn one of their 11 Tests and lost twice, including Saturday’s shock defeat by the Wallabies in Brisbane.

The nature of the tour, featuring two non-Tests has prompted Hansen to spread his selection tentacles.

He has been seduced by the remarkable form of Aumua, who will tour as the fourth hooker despite having never played Super Rugby.

The unfeasibly fast and powerful 20-year-old has scored a swag of tries, many from long range, during a breakthrough NPC season with Wellington.

A star for the under-20 world championship-winning New Zealand team – he scored a hat-trick in the final against England – Hansen says Aumua had bowled the door down.

“He dominates when he carries. Everything he does, he does really well, so he stands out,” Hansen said.

“That’s not normal for a 20-year-old. When you see non-normal behaviour which is positive, it’s not too hard to take a look.

“He’s pretty special, so we’ll see where he goes.”

Hansen said he’d be cautious with Aumua’s playing time but wouldn’t rule out a debut in the opening match against the Barbarians at Twickenham on November 4.

First-choice hooker Dane Coles is one of six senior All Blacks who will miss the match, along with captain Kieran Read, prop Wyatt Crockett, lock Sam Whitelock and midfield backs Sonny Bill Williams and Anton Lienert-Brown.

Hansen said those players were in need of rest and would fly out a week late to begin preparing for the first tour Test, against France in Paris.

Hansen revealed five New Zealanders will play for the Barbarians and then join the tourists to boost numbers for the third match, a midweek fixture against a France XV in Lyon on November 14.

They are Chiefs tight forwards Atu Moli and Dominic Bird, Highlanders flanker Dillon Hunt and Crusaders halves Mitchell Drummond and Richie Mo’unga. The only capped player among them is Bird (twice).

The remaining matches are Tests against Scotland (Edinburgh, Nov 18) and Wales (Cardiff, Nov 25).

All Blacks squad:

Backs: Damian McKenzie, David Havili, Matt Duffie, Waisake Naholo, Rieko Ioane, Seta Tamanivalu, Ryan Crotty, Anton Lienert-Brown, Jack Goodhue, Sonny Bill Williams, Ngani Laumape, Beauden Barrett, Lima Sopoaga, Aaron Smith, TJ Perenara, Tawera Kerr-Barlow.

Forwards: Kieran Read (capt), Sam Cane, Ardie Savea, Matt Todd, Liam Squire, Jerome Kaino, Vaea Fifita, Sam Whitelock, Scott Barrett, Luke Romano, Patrick Tuipulotu, Nepo Laulala, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, Kane Hames, Wyatt Crockett, Tim Perry, Dane Coles, Codie Taylor, Nathan Harris, Asafo Aumua.

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