Lord called into All Blacks squad

Monday, Oct 04 2021

Lord called into All Blacks squad

Will Johnston

Photo: LDV Photography

Chiefs, Taranaki and Coastal lock Josh Lord has been called into the All Blacks squad for the end of year tour.

The 20-year-old will meet up with the squad for the northern hemisphere tour to the USA and Europe with Sam Cane, Samuel Whitelock, Dan Coles and Shannon Frizell.

He comes in for locks Scott Barrett and Patrick Tuipulotu who will return to New Zealand this week for family reasons.

Lord made his debut for Taranaki in 2019 and debuted for the Chiefs this year against the Crusaders. He also played for the New Zealand U20 side.

He could be the second Taranaki lock to make his debut for the national team in as many years. Last year, Tupou Vaa’i made his All Black debut against Australia in the opening Bledisloe Cup match in Wellington.

While the selection is a milestone for Lord, Taranaki coach Neil Barnes said the depth in the side’s second row has already been tested this season.

“With Toops [Vaa’i] been away, Jesse Parete has a fracture in his arm, we’re down to the bare minimum. Brownie [Mitchell Brown] is just coming back on deck,” he said on The Most FM Sports Show on Saturday morning.

Barnes said Lord and fellow lock Fin Hoeata have done a “massive job” so far for Taranaki.

Taranaki’s lineout has been a strength in their four wins.  

A likely replacement for Taranaki is Stratford/Eltham lock Scott Jury. The brother of Silver Fern, Kelly, made his debut against Wellington in Inglewood this season coming off the bench.

All Blacks coach Ian Foster said with the national provincial championship going later than usual, the team can bring over potential replacements, if required.

The All Blacks have a week off before traveling to USA to play the Eagles on October 30 with tests against Italy, Ireland and France to follow.