The 71 times capped veteran returns to the squad seven weeks after being cut as TJ Perenara is expected to miss up to 6 weeks of action through injury.
“It’s obviously a huge disappointment for him and us because, even though he hasn’t had any game time yet for the All Blacks, he has been developing well within the squad, We have selected Piri as a replacement for two reasons: one, given the environments we are going into, it would be unfair to bring in a novice scrumhalf; and secondly, we have also seen advances in his game in the areas we asked him to improve in,” Hansen said.
Another surprise was the selection of captain Richie McCaw. Despite him being injured, Steve Hansen decided to take McCaw on tour in the hopes he will recover in time for the Boks match. This is to the detriment of fellow Crusader Matt Todd who has shown some good form during his cameos in the Black jersey.
“With Richie, we believe that the best chance of having him available to play against South Africa is by having him travel with the squad and getting ‘hands-on’ treatment from the All Blacks medical staff,” the All Blacks coach said.
Tom Taylor has been called up to replace the injured Dan Carter who has been ruled out with a shoulder injury courtesy of a fantastic tackle from Bismarck du Plessis.
All Black Touring Squad
Hookers: Dane Coles, Andrew Hore and Keven Mealamu.
Props: Wyatt Crockett, Charlie Faumuina, Ben Franks, Owen Franks and Tony Woodcock.
Locks: Brodie Retallick, Jeremy Thrush and Samuel Whitelock.
Loose forwards: Sam Cane, Steven Luatua, Richie McCaw, Liam Messam and Kieran Read.
Scrumhalves: Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Aaron Smith and Piri Weepu.
Flyhalves: Beauden Barrett, Aaron Cruden and Tom Taylor.
Midfielders: Ma’a Nonu and Conrad Smith.
Outside backs: Israel Dagg, Charles Piutau, Julian Savea and Ben Smith.