The All Blacks selectors banked on experience Sunday in naming their first squad of the year, with only one new cap and four injured players in their Tri-Nations line up.
A squad of 30, plus another four to cover the injured, was named ahead of the opening Test of the year against Fiji on July 22 and the following Tri-Nations Tests against Australia and South Africa.
It includes 12 members of the Crusaders, including captain Richie McCaw, who were beaten 18-13 by the Reds in the Final of the Super Rugby competition at the weekend.
Highlanders lock Jarrad Hoeata is the only newcomer.
The 27–year–old Hoeata, who started every match for the Highlanders this year in his outstanding second Super Rugby season, was born in Tauranga and made his provincial debut in 2006, played for the New Zealand Sevens team the same year and also featured strongly for New Zealand Maori last year.
Highlanders flyhalf Colin Slade, who missed most of the Super Rugby season after breaking his jaw twice, won the battle to be Dan Carter's understudy at No.10.
Four of the squad - Tony Woodcock, Isaia Toeava, Hosea Gear and Israel Dagg - are injured allowing Wyatt Crockett, Cory Jane, Sitiveni Sivivatu and Ben Smith to be named as cover.
Coach and head selector Graham Henry said he was confident the four injured players would take some part in the Tri-Nations, saying they were "all making good progress" with their rehabilitation.
The squad also sees the return of several All Blacks, notably 61-Test lock Ali Williams who missed the past two years of Test rugby because of Achilles and shoulder injuries.
Corey Flynn, Richard Kahui and Piri Weepu also return, while long serving wing Joe Rokocoko is the most notable absentee in a list which also includes Neemia Tialata, Luke McAlister, Hika Elliot, Alby Mathewson, Victor Vito and Tom Donnelly.
Blues lock Anthony Boric was not considered due because of injury.
The squad is made up of 16 forwards and 14 backs and packs huge experience with 1028 Test caps between them.
"We are excited to be naming this first squad of the year in what is undoubtedly a huge year not only for the All Blacks but the country as a whole," Henry said.
Henry also offered his congratulations to Hoeata: "He is the only new All Black selected so this will be a very special moment for him. He thoroughly deserves his selection and we congratulate him."
The coach also spoke of the season ahead.
"Our first Test against Fiji in Dunedin will be an important first step in our season, plus there's extra significance because we are playing for the people of Canterbury.
"The thoughts of the team are still with the folk of Canterbury as they try to rebuild their lives so we hope we see as many fans as possible at Carisbrook for this fundraising match," Henry added.
"The Tri-Nations also remains an important competition for the team this year. We are proud of the record we have achieved over the years and the fact that we have held the Bledisloe Cup since 2003 and it is crucial as we look to build towards the Rugby World Cup."
The All Blacks will continue their preparations with a two–day camp in Auckland next week (Thursday and Friday).
The team will then assemble in Dunedin on Monday 18 July to prepare for the Test against Fiji at Carisbrook on Friday 22 July.
New Zealand squad:
Forwards: John Afoa (Blues), Corey Flynn (Crusaders), Ben Franks (Crusaders), Owen Franks (Crusaders), Jarrad Hoeata (Highlanders), Andrew Hore (Hurricanes), Jerome Kaino (Blues), Richie McCaw (Crusaders, captain), Keven Mealamu (Blues), Liam Messam (Chiefs), Kieran Read (Crusaders), Adam Thomson (Highlanders), Brad Thorn (Crusaders), Samuel Whitelock (Crusaders), Ali Williams (Blues), Tony Woodcock (Blues).
Backs: Daniel Carter (Crusaders), Jimmy Cowan (Highlanders), Israel Dagg (Crusaders), Andy Ellis (Crusaders), Hosea Gear (Hurricanes), Zac Guildford (Crusaders), Richard Kahui (Chiefs), Mils Muliaina (Chiefs), Ma'a Nonu (Hurricanes), Colin Slade (Highlanders), Conrad Smith (Hurricanes), Isaia Toeava (Blues), Piri Weepu (Hurricanes), Sonny Bill Williams (Crusaders).
New Zealand schedule:
Friday, July 22: v Fiji, Dunedin - 19.35 (07.35 GMT)
Saturday, July 30: v South Africa, Wellington - 19.35 (07.35 GMT)
Saturday, August 6: v Australia, Auckland - 19.35 (07.35 GMT)
Saturday, August 20: v South Africa, Port Elizabeth - 17.00 (13.00 GMT)
Saturday, August 27: v Australia, Brisbane - 20.05 (10.05 GMT)
Gilbert has released a new line of rugby cleats. The Gilbert Virtuo 8S is part of the exciting new product. Check it out.
The Barbarians are one of the top invitational rugby sides with a long history and classic rugby jersey.
The Nike Tiempo is a solid rugby cleat and one of few styles still made from full-grain natural leather.
The Lions get ready for their matches with this green training jersey. It's what the players wear. Get in the Gear!
A cool looking all black rugby cleat with the high performance adidas is known for. Get in the Gear!
Wear the crest of the British and Irish Lions on your t-shirt. A great look for the summer.
The Lions are ready to get their Australia tour underway. They arrive in Perth on Monday.
The New Zealand All Blacks training jersey for 2013/14. Get in the Gear!
The USA Rugby Pro Alternate rugby jersey is perfect for any fan of the Eagles. Get yours to wear during the summer Test matches.
The NEW All Blacks 2013/14 jersey has arrived at World Rugby Shop. Dare to wear the colors of the All Blacks.