All Blacks call up young lock for World Cup warm-up game against Boks

All Blacks call up young lock for World Cup warm-up game against Boks

Young Chiefs lock Josh Lord has been added to the All Blacks squad as they prepare for their Rugby World Cup warm-up encounter against the Springboks at Twickenham.

The 22-year-old replaces Crusaders hooker George Bell, who was one of three players added to the All Blacks squad for the clash on Friday, August 25. Chiefs flanker Samipeni Finau and scrumhalf Brad Weber were the other two players called up to the squad for the one-off Test.

Bell has withdrawn from the squad after succumbing to injury.

The Test against the Boks will be the All Blacks' last match before the global showpiece kicks off with their tournament opener against host nation France in Paris on September 9.

That means New Zealand head coach Ian Foster and his fellow selectors will likely opt for a second-string line-up to keep their first-choice players fresh and injury free.

Lord was part of the All Blacks' 36-man Rugby Championship squad but only played in one match, starting The first test of the year in the 41-12 victory against Argentina in Mendoza.

He is highly rated in New Zealand and made his international debut as a replacement against the USA Eagles in Chicago in 2021. His inclusion in the Rugby Championship squad was a surprising one as he spent most of the past year on the sidelines.

Lord suffered a knee injury in 2022, ruling him out of the rest of the season and most of the Chiefs' Super Rugby Pacific campaign in 2023.

He missed out on selection for the All Blacks' World Cup squad with Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick, Scott Barrett and Tupou Vaa'i getting the nod in Foster's 33-man squad.

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