Introducing The Six Uncapped Players In The All Blacks Squad

Introducing The Six Uncapped Players In The All Blacks Squad

All Blacks head coach Ian Foster has named a 36-man squad to face Ireland in a three-test series.


Here are the six uncapped players that have been included in the squad. 


Pita Gus Sowakula

HAMILTON, NEW ZEALAND - APRIL 09: Pita Gus Sowakula of the Chiefs runs the ball forward during the round eight Super Rugby Pacific match between the Chiefs and the Blues at FMG Stadium Waikato on April 09, 2022 in Hamilton, New Zealand. (Photo by Michael Bradley/Getty Images)

Pita Gus Sowakula is a powerful loose forward who made an impact as an injury replacement player for the Chiefs in 2018.


At 195 cm (6 ft 5), Sowakula excelled at basketball and was selected in the 2012 FIBA Oceania Under 19 Championships for Fiji and featured for the Otago Nuggets.


He was also a gifted rugby player and was named the most promising player at the Taranaki Rugby awards in 2017, two years after claiming a silver medal in basketball with Fiji at the 2015 Pacific Games.


His impressive performances in 2018 earned him a full-time spot in the Chiefs and since then has been a regular face in the match day 23. His performances in the 2022 DHL Super Rugby Pacific Season has seen many take note of the powerful number 8, who impressed with his work-rate and explosive ball carrying.


Aidan Ross

Aidan Ross of the Chiefs during the Super Rugby match between Queensland reds and Waikato Chiefs on April 29, 2022 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Icon Sport/Icon Sport via Getty Images)

Bay of Plenty prop Aidan Ross was a member of the New Zealand Under-20 squad who took out the 2015 World Rugby Under-20 Championship in Italy.


In 2017, Ross was called into the Chiefs squad as injury cover and made his debut against the Western Force.


Ross captained and led Bay of Plenty to victory in the 2019 NPC Championship final and he continued his form through to the Chiefs 2020 season as a regular starter.


The 26-year-old has gone from strength to strength as a Super Rugby player in 2021 and 2022 and is known for his work-rate and ability to grow his game.


Leicester Fainga’anuku

CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND - APRIL 01: Leicester Fainga'anuku of the Crusaders celebrates his try during the round seven Super Rugby Pacific match between the Crusaders and the Highlanders at Orangetheory Stadium on April 01, 2022 in Christchurch, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

The 22-year-old Crusader has had a blockbusting DHL Super Rugby Pacific season so far, with a final to come.


A product of the Nelson College First XV, Fainga’anuku was a young star picked to carry on a career in representative rugby having represented New Zealand Schools, Junior Crusaders, Crusaders Development XV and the New Zealand Under 20 side.


He made his provincial debut for Tasman in 2018 and earned a spot in the Crusaders line up against the Brumbies in 2019.


At 188 cm tall and 109 kg, he’s a versatile back who can play both midfield and wing and was a key part of the Tasman Mako team that went back-to-back in the 2019 and 2020 NPC Premiership.


Roger Tuivasa-Sheck

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JUNE 11: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck of the Blues takes the field during the Super Rugby Pacific Semi Final match between the Blues and the Brumbies at Eden Park on June 11, 2022 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is a former rugby league superstar, an NRL Premiership winner with the Sydney Roosters, and a Dally M Medalist with the Warriors.


Having made over 200 NRL appearances and 20 Tests for the Kiwis as a wing and fullback, Tuivasa-Sheck brings extensive experience back to rugby union.


Before heading to Sydney, Tuivasa-Sheck was a schoolboy rugby star with Otahuhu College and represented both the Blues Under 18s and New Zealand Schools.


This season however, the Blues midfielder is considered a DHL Super Rugby Pacific rookie, making his debut in Round Two with an eye-catching performance against the Hurricanes.


Tuivasa-Sheck has gone on to impress for the Blues throughout the DHL Super Rugby Pacific season with trademark speed, tackle breaks and electric footwork.


Stephen Perofeta

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - MAY 14: Stephen Perofeta of the Blues charges forward during the round 13 Super Rugby Pacific match between the Blues and the Queensland Reds at Eden Park on May 14, 2022 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

At 25 years old, Stephen Perofeta has already amassed an impressive set of rugby credentials.


The Whanganui Collegiate schoolboy played first-class rugby for Whanganui whilst still at school, earning selection to the Heartland XV that same year.


Touted as a player to watch from a young age, Perofeta made his Super Rugby debut in 2017, notably helping guide the Blues to victory against the touring British and Irish Lions at Eden Park.


That same year saw Perofeta earn selection as a late call up to the New Zealand Under 20 side, where he started at first-five as the team defeated England in the final of the World Rugby Under 20 Championship.


Accomplished at both first-five and fullback, Perofeta is now in his sixth season of Super Rugby, with strong performances in both 2021 and 2022.


A key cog in Taranaki’s undefeated 2021 Bunnings Warehouse NPC Championship season, Perofeta won the Duane Monkley Medal as the NPC’s best player.


Perofeta has found his home at fullback throughout the 2022 DHL Super Rugby Pacific season, forming a strong partnership with first-five Beauden Barrett in one of the competition’s most exciting backlines.


Folau Fakatava

DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND - MAY 22: Folau Fakatava of the Highlanders looks on ahead of the round 14 Super Rugby Pacific match between the Highlanders and the NSW Waratahs at Forsyth Barr Stadium on May 22, 2022 in Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo by Joe Allison/Getty Images)

Folau Fakatava has been earmarked as a player to watch since standout performances at schoolboy level with Hastings Boys'.


Known for an exciting running game, accurate pass and strong defence, the 22-year-old is widely considered one of the country’s most exciting young players.


The halfback has been central to Hawke’s Bay’s recent success, including helping his side earn promotion to the NPC Premiership in 2020. Outstanding form throughout that campaign saw Fakatava awarded the Duane Monkley Medal as the NPC’s best player.


After making a promising start to the Highlanders 2021 campaign, Fakatava was ruled out for the remainder of the season with a knee injury.


Returning for the Highlanders in the 2022 DHL Super Rugby Pacific has seen Fakatava back to his best, forming a formidable halfback combination with Aaron Smith.


New Zealand v Ireland Series

Saturday 2 July

All Blacks vs Ireland, 7.05PM (NZST), 8.05 am (BST) Eden Park, AUCKLAND

Saturday 9 July
All Blacks vs Ireland, 7.05PM (NZST), 8.05 am (BST) Forsyth Barr Stadium, DUNEDIN

Saturday 16 July
All Blacks vs Ireland, 7.05PM (NZST), 8.05 am (BST) Sky Stadium, WELLINGTON



Dane Coles (Hurricanes, Wellington)
Codie Taylor (Crusaders, Canterbury)
Samisoni Taukei’aho (Chiefs, Waikato)



Aidan Ross* (Chiefs, Bay of Plenty)
George Bower (Crusaders, Otago)
Nepo Laulala (Blues, Counties Manukau)
Ofa Tuungafasi (Blues, Northland)
Karl Tu’inukuafe (Blues, North Harbour)
Angus Ta’avao (Chiefs, Auckland)


Samuel Whitelock (Crusaders, Canterbury)
Brodie Retallick (Chiefs, Hawkes Bay)
Scott Barrett (Crusaders, Taranaki)
Josh Lord (Chiefs, Taranaki)
Tupou Vaa’i (Chiefs, Taranaki)


Loose Forwards
Pita Gus Sowakula* (Chiefs, Taranaki)
Sam Cane – Captain (Chiefs, Bay of Plenty)
Dalton Papalii (Blues, Counties Manukau)
Ardie Savea (Hurricanes, Wellington)
Akira Ioane (Blues, Auckland)
Hoskins Sotutu (Blues, Counties Manukau)


Folau Fakatava* (Highlanders, Hawkes Bay)
Aaron Smith (Highlanders, Manawatu)
Finlay Christie (Blues, Tasman)


First five-eighths
Stephen Perofeta* (Blues, Taranaki)
Beauden Barrett (Blues, Taranaki)
Richie Mo’unga (Crusaders, Canterbury)


Roger Tuivasa-Sheck* (Blues, Auckland)
Quinn Tupaea (Chiefs, Waikato)
Jack Goodhue (Crusaders, Northland)
Rieko Ioane (Blues, Auckland)
David Havili (Crusaders, Tasman)


Outside backs
Leicester Fainga’anuku* (Crusaders, Tasman)
Jordie Barrett (Hurricanes, Taranaki)
Will Jordan (Crusaders, Tasman)
Caleb Clarke (Blues, Auckland)
Sevu Reece (Crusaders, Tasman)


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