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All Blacks Pick Three Fly-Halves as Carter Continues Calf Rehab

Sept. 21 (Bloomberg) -- New Zealand included Beauden Barrett as one of three fly-halves in a 28-man touring squad for the final two rounds of the inaugural Rugby Championship.

Barrett and Aaron Cruden were chosen as backups for first-choice playmaker Dan Carter, who’s still undergoing rehabilitation on a calf injury that kept him out of the past two matches. The All Blacks face Argentina on Sept. 29 before finishing their campaign a week later in South Africa.

“Dan is recovering well from his calf injury and we are expecting him to be fit for selection for the Argentinean Test,” All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said in an e-mailed statement. “However, to be on the safe side we are also taking Beauden Barrett as cover.”

Carter, who’s scored a world record 1,318 points in 89 Tests, said on Twitter today that his calf “felt good” after a running session and that he “even managed a few kicks.”

World champion New Zealand leads the southern hemisphere championship standings with 16 points and will secure the inaugural title by winning either of its remaining games.

ALL BLACKS SQUAD TO TOUR ARGENTINA AND SOUTH AFRICA:

Forwards: Andrew Hore, Keven Mealamu, Charlie Faumuina, Ben Franks, Owen Franks, Tony Woodcock, Brodie Retallick, Luke Romano, Sam Whitelock, Sam Cane, Richie McCaw (captain), Liam Messam, Kieran Read, Adam Thomson, Victor Vito.

Backs: Aaron Smith, Piri Weepu, Beauden Barrett, Daniel Carter, Aaron Cruden, Tamati Ellison, Ma’a Nonu, Conrad Smith, Israel Dagg, Hosea Gear, Cory Jane, Ben Smith, Julian Savea.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dan Baynes in Sydney at dbaynes@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net

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