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Akira Ioane makes the cut, named in All Blacks' 41 player invitation in Wellington

Blues enforcer Akira Ioane has been in fine form for his Auckland Super Rugby franchise, with the No.8 being rewarded with an invitation to the All Blacks' 'foundation day' in Wellington next Monday.

The All Blacks management team announced today 41 players who will attend the get-together.

Ioane was left out of All Blacks' 51-man squad northern hemisphere tour at the end of last year.

New Zealand Rugby's head of high performance Mike Anthony said the timing of the foundation day is important, given the players' busy rugby schedule in 2019.

"Given the All Blacks have an incredibly short lead-in time to the upcoming international season, culminating in the Rugby World Cup, and with there being no camps during the Super Rugby season," said Anthony.

"The foundation days will provide an opportunity for All Blacks management and our leading players to start building towards what is a huge year ahead.

A second foundation day for North Island-based players will take place in Auckland on May 20 and one for South Island-based players in Christchurch on June 3.

The players attending the foundation day are:

Forwards: Dane Coles, Liam Coltman, Nathan Harris, Codie Taylor, Owen Franks, Nepo Laulala, Tyrel Lomax, Joe Moody, Angus Ta'avao, Karl Tu'inukuafe, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Scott Barrett, Jackson Hemopo, Brodie Retallick, Patrick Tuipulotu, Samuel Whitelock, Sam Cane, Vaea Fifita, Shannon Frizell, Akira Ioane, Kieran Read, Ardie Savea, Liam Squire, Matt Todd and Luke Whitelock.

Backs: TJ Perenara, Aaron Smith, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Beauden Barrett, Damian McKenzie, Richie Mo'unga, Ryan Crotty, Jack Goodhue, Ngani Laumape, Anton Lienert-Brown, Sonny Bill Williams, Jordie Barrett, George Bridge, Rieko Ioane, Waisake Naholo and Ben Smith.

Akira Ioane looks to take on the defence during the Super Rugby match, Waratahs  v Blues, Brookvale Oval, Sydney, Australia, 5th May 2018. Copyright photo: David Neilson / www.photosport.nz
Blues forward Akira Ioane looks to take on the Waratahs defence. Source: Photosport


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