Watch: 'I gave back the phone thinking it wasn't for me!' Shannon Frizell shares hilarious story of life-changing call from ABs selectors

Every All Black remembers the first phone call telling them they'd been selected in the squad, but it's fair to say many won't have as brilliant a tale as the one 2018 recruit Shannon Frizell has.

The rookie All Black told media today he didn't find out about his selection until the night before the team was announced - and just after he'd been served a hefty loss by the Waratahs.

"It was after our game in Sydney and obviously we had lost," he said.

"I came into the changing rooms and then our manager for the Highlanders came in and gave me the phone then someone said to me I had been picked to represent New Zealand.

The pair were called up for the All Blacks' squad to face France next month. Source: 1 NEWS

"I didn't believe them so I gave back the phone thinking it wasn't for me!"

Frizell admitted his sadness at the Highlanders' 41-12 loss almost instantly disappeared but he still wasn't sure the call was real due to his past experiences with Highlanders manager Paul McLaughlan.

"He gave me back the phone and said, 'it's a call for you,' and I said, 'nah, you take it!'

"I thought it was a joke because our manager is a bit of a joker."

Frizell was one of three new faces named in the All Blacks' 33-man squad, with the Highlanders loose forward joined by Jordan Taufua and Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi.

Frizell thought Highlanders manager Paul McLauglan was pranking him. Source: 1 NEWS


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'Mum and dad will be stoked' - Ioane brothers thrilled to re-sign with NZ Rugby

All Blacks winger Rieko Ioane has hailed the influence of older brother Akira, as the pair today recommitted to New Zealand Rugby for another four years.

Rieko, 21, and Akira, 23, both put pen to paper on new deals, deciding to remain within New Zealand for the foreseeable future.

Speaking to media at Auckland Airport, Rieko spoke about the pair's decisions to stay at home in New Zealand.

"We've been lucky enough to play together for so long," he said.

"I'm pretty happy that both Aki and I are staying around home for a bit longer.

"I'm sure mum and dad will be stoked as well."

Both Rieko and Akira Ioane have penned new deals to stay in NZ. Source: 1 NEWS


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'He's only just beginning' – Steve Hansen gushes over Rieko Ioane's new deal

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen says that there's more to come from star winger Rieko Ioane, as the youngster put pen to paper on a new deal with New Zealand Rugby.

Since making his debut at the end of 2016, Ioane, 21, has been a standout for the All Blacks, displacing Julian Savea as the first-choice in the number 11 jersey.

Speaking to media ahead of his side's departure to Argentina, Hansen spoke of his delight at Ioane's commitment to the All Blacks.

"He's a special player and he's only at the beginning of his career," Hansen began.

"What he's done so far, with maturity and greater game understanding is just going to get better and better.

"He's only just beginning."

The winger has recommitted to New Zealand Rugby for another four years. Source: 1 NEWS


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Rieko Ioane on rejecting huge overseas deals to stay in NZ: 'The Black jersey is enough for me'

All Blacks winger Rieko Ioane has spoken about rejecting lucrative overseas deals to remain in New Zealand, recommitting to NZR with a new four-year deal.

Ioane, 21, and brother Akira signed on the dotted line to remain in New Zealand for the next four years, fronting media at Auckland Airport to explain his decision.

"I want to establish myself in New Zealand," he began.

"The black jersey is enough for me, and is enough to keep me here.

"Rugby is what I love playing, and to play in the best team in the world is motivating enough for me, overseas didn't come into the picture."

The All Blacks star penned a new four-year NZR deal this morning. Source: 1 NEWS


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Kieran Read out, Vaea Fifita recalled for All Blacks' trip to Argentina

All Blacks captain Kieran Read will miss his side's Rugby Championship clash with Argentina in Buenos Aires, with Wellington flanker Vaea Fifita called in as a replacement.

Read, 32, will be sent straight to South Africa, missing the All Blacks' Argentinian leg of their Rugby Championship campaign, coach Steve Hansen confirmed to media at Auckland Airport today.

"The original plan was always to make sure we don't have him sitting in a plane too long," Hansen began.

"When you go to Argentina then to South Africa, short turnaround, and not a great ride from Argentina to South Africa.

"The smart play is to leave him at home and send him straight to Africa."

Read's absence sees Vaea Fifita return to the side, having originally been overlooked for the All Blacks' Rugby Championship campaign, with the Wellington flanker controversially stating that he didn't understand why he'd been dropped.

"He's always been on our mind," Hansen said of Fifita.

"We've given him the task of going and playing some Mitre 10 Cup, he's done that.

"With Reado not coming we need a replacement, he's the obvious man."

The All Blacks' newest weapon sat out of practice with a sore shoulder today. Source: 1 NEWS


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