Taranaki lock Lord joins ABs for tour
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 United States 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 Blacks 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. Barnes said Lord and fellow lock Fin Hoeata have so far done a “massive job” for Taranaki. 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 running later than usual, the team can bring over potential replacements if required. The All Blacks have a week off before travelling to the US to play the Eagles on October 30, with tests against Italy, Ireland and France to follow.