Hansen says Savea and Todd will be back

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen says he expects Julian Savea and Crusaders openside Matt Todd will play their way back into All Black selection in the future.

Fifty four test veteran Savea has been dropped by the selectors from the 33-man squad unveiled for the Rugby Championship series which begins with next week's Bledisloe Cup Test against Australia in Sydney.

Savea, the scorer of 46 test tries, has struggled this year, facing the Lions in the third Test only.

He lacked zip with the Hurricanes and was named on the bench for their Super Rugby semi-final loss to South Africa's Lions.

Crusaders openside Matt Todd, who's only played eight games for the All Blacks since his debut in 2013, also failed to secure a spot in the squad for the 6 match series against Australia, South Africa and Argentina.

Steve Hansen says both Savea and Todd were very unlucky not to be picked.

"I'm sure Julian won't have finished his time in the jersey. He is still a very good rugby player and there is a lot left in him going forward.

And the other guy who seems to be always unlucky not got get named is Matty Todd. he is an outstanding rugby player but unfortunately we can only fit two openside flankers into the squad."

There are recalls for Hurricanes outside back Nehe Milner-Skudder and prop Nepo Laulala, who both last played in 2015 before being struck down with serious injuries.

Hooker Dane Coles returns after missing the Lions series with concussion symptoms.

Hansen has otherwise resisted the urge to make changes from the squad which contested the drawn series against the British and Irish Lions.

Uncapped Chiefs prop Atu Moli, 22, is named as an "apprentice player". The former New Zealand under-20 captain isn't part of the official squad but will assemble and train with them.

Not considered were centre Malakai Fekitoa, first five-eighth Aaron Cruden and prop Charlie Faumuina after signing offshore contracts.

Halfback Tawera Kerr-Barlow will also leave for France later in the year but has been retained as the likely third-choice No.9.

Fullback Ben Smith will play the first two Tests before taking a sabbatical for the remainder of the year.

Versatile back Damian McKenzie is included, boasting an ability to cover fullback and first five-eighth, where Beauden Barrett and Lima Sopoaga are the only two candidates.

Hansen indicated there would be "new strategies" to handle the travelling component of the championship, indicating some senior players will be rested from the Test against Argentina in Buenos Aires on September 30.

"We've learnt since the introduction of Argentina that there is a massive travelling component to the championship, which comes at a cost at the end of the year," he said.

"So we'll be looking to implement some new strategies to try and overcome that."


Backs: Ben Smith, Jordie Barrett, Israel Dagg, Waisake Naholo, Nehe Milner- Skudder, Rieko Ioane, Anton Lienert-Brown, Ryan Crotty, Sonny Bill Williams, Ngani Laumape, Beauden Barrett, Lima Sopoaga, Damian McKenzie, Aaron Smith, TJ Perenara, Tawera Kerr-Barlow.

Forwards: Kieran Read (capt), Liam Squire, Sam Cane, Ardie Savea, Jerome Kaino, Vaea Fifita, Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick, Scott Barrett, Luke Romano, Owen Franks, Nepo Laulala, Ofa Tu'ungafasi, Joe Moody, Wyatt Crockett, Dane Coles, Codie Taylor, Nathan Harris.