WELLINGTON (Reuters) – All Blacks centurion Owen Franks has been dropped from the squad for the Rugby World Cup in Japan, which was named by Steve Hansen on Wednesday.
The 108-cap prop, a two-time Rugby World Cup winner, suffered a shoulder injury that kept him out of much of Super Rugby this year but returned to the national side for the Rugby Championship.
Lock Brodie Retallick was also included despite suffering a dislocated shoulder against South Africa last month, as was midfield back Ryan Crotty, who has been out of action for the last two months with a broken thumb.
Rookie loose forward Luke Jacobson was included after Liam Squire made himself unavailable earlier this year and there was also a place for Brad Weber as the third scrumhalf.
Backs – Ben Smith, Rieko Ioane, Jordie Barrett, George Bridge, Sevu Reece, Ryan Crotty, Sonny Bill Williams, Jack Goodhue, Anton Lienert-Brown, Beauden Barrett, Richie Mo’unga, Aaron Smith, TJ Perenara, Brad Weber
Forwards – Kieran Read (captain), Ardie Savea, Sam Cane, Matt Todd, Luke Jacobson, Brodie Retallick, Sam Whitelock, Scott Barrett, Patrick Tuipulotu, Joe Moody, Nepo Laulala, Ofa Tuungafasi, Angus Ta’avao, Atu Moli, Codie Taylor, Dane Coles, Liam Coltman
(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by Nick Mulvenney)