British and Irish Lions 2017: Beauden Barrett joined by brothers Jordie and Scott in 33-man All Blacks squad

Sonny Bill Williams and Ngani Laumape are also included but Malakai Fekitoa and Steven Luatua miss out on Steve Hansen's 33-man squad to face Samoa and the Lions

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The Independent Online

Steve Hansen has named three of the four Barrett brothers in his New Zealand squad that will take on the British and Irish Lions in a three-Test series, as well as the warm-up match against Samoa next Friday, in what he described as the hardest team he has ever had to select.

First-choice fly-half Beauden Barrett is joined not only by younger brother Scott Barrett, but also 20-year-old sibling Jordie Barrett to become the first set of three brothers to be named in the same All Blacks squad.

26-year-old Beauden looks likely to start the first Test against the Lions, who suffered their first defeat of the tour on Wednesday night against the Blues, with Waikato Chiefs’ Aaron Cruden and Lima Sopoaga of the Otago Highlanders making up the other options at 10.

With Jordie called up to the squad for the first time, he joins Ngani Laumape in being the only uncapped All Blacks in the side, and their inclusion means that Hansen has elected to leave out Malakai Fekitoa.

"Obviously, it's a very special occasion for the Barrett and Laumape families, with Jordie and Ngani being selected for the first time,” Hansen said after the squad was announced. “Jordie has been in outstanding form, he has a skillset which is complete and has a great running and kicking game. Ngani too has been impressive throughout the Super season and has forced his way in through commanding performances.

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"This has been by far the toughest team that we've had to select for some time and some players who are in very good form missed out, and we always feel for them.  But as is the nature of Test rugby I'm sure a number of them will get an opportunity, if not in this series, then throughout the season."

"We're really appreciative of the opportunity to play Samoa first up. The Samoan game is ideal in preparing us for the challenge that comes with the Lions.”

The announcement of the 33-man squad also saw Hansen name five players on injury stand-by, with fears remaining over hooker Dane Coles, flanker Jerome Kaino and captain Kieran Read. It also gave Hansen the chance to renew his verbal rivalry with Lions adversary Warren Gatland following the Kiwi’s claim after the Blues defeat that there will not be much difference between the Super Rugby side and the All Blacks.

“I just think he was trying a bit of humour after struggling a wee bit with his press conference before,” said Hansen, referencing the angry reaction Gatland had to a question about “Warrenball” earlier this week. “I don't think there's any comparison between Super Rugby and Test rugby. I don't know what his thinking is.”

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Steve Hansen announced a 33-man All Blacks squad (Getty)

After impressing in the defeat of the Lions, Sonny Bill Williams returns to the All Blacks squad for the first time since the 2015 Rugby World Cup final following his spell with the New Zealand Sevens side, with whom he suffered a broken ankle with at the Rio Olympics last September. However, Williams’ teammates George Moala and Steven Luatua are both overlooked, and Hansen revealed that Luatua’s decision to join Bristol at the end of the season took him out of the head coach’s plans.

“The thing with Stephen is he's heading overseas and when you do that, you run the risk of having to deal with competition,” he explained. “We've backed the young guys who are going to stay here and give something to us in the next few years. It's a shame Stephen is not, it was a tough decision and he's playing really well, but he's made that decision.”

New Zealand squad to face the British and Irish Lions:

(Team and caps in brackets)

Props:

Wyatt Crockett (Canterbury, 58)

Charlie Faumuina (Auckland, 46)

Owen Franks (Canterbury, 90)

Joe Moody (Canterbury, 24)

Ofa Tu'ungafasi (Auckland, 4)

Hookers:

Dane Coles (Wellington, 49)

Codie Taylor (Canterbury, 15)

Nathan Harris (Bay of Plenty, 4)

Locks:

Scott Barrett (Taranaki, 4)

Brodie Retallick (Hawke's Bay, 60)

Luke Romano (Canterbury, 26)

Samuel Whitelock (Canterbury, 84)

Back-row:

Sam Cane (Bay of Plenty, 40)

Jerome Kaino (Auckland, 74)

Kieran Read, captain (Counties Manukau, 97)

Ardie Savea (Wellington, 12)

Liam Squire (Tasman, 8)

Scrum-halves:

Tawera Kerr-Barlow (Waikato, 25)

TJ Perenara (Wellington, 29)

Aaron Smith (Manawatu, 58)

Fly-halves:

Beauden Barrett (Taranaki, 49)

Aaron Cruden (Manawatu, 47)

Lima Sopoaga (Southland, 6)

Centres:

Ryan Crotty (Canterbury, 26)

Ngani Laumape (Manawatu, uncapped)

Anton Lienert-Brown (Waikato, 9)

Sonny Bill Williams (Counties Manukau, 33)

Back three:

Jordie Barrett (Taranaki, uncapped)

Israel Dagg (Hawke's Bay, 61)

Rieko Ioane (Auckland, 2)

Waisake Naholo (Taranaki, 12)

Julian Savea (Wellington, 52)

Ben Smith (Otago, 60)

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