JAMES PARSONS CALLED INTO ALL BLACKS

JAMES PARSONS CALLED INTO ALL BLACKS

James Parsons has struck the jackpot.

With Nathan Harris forced to return to home because of the ankle injury he suffered during the All Blacks' 74-6 annihilation of the United States on Sunday, Blues and North Harbour hooker Parsons has been brought into the squad preparing to play tests against England, Scotland and Wales over the next three weeks.

Parsons has been recruited along with Colin Slade, who replaces Cory Jane after the latter pulled a hamstring in Chicago and the doctors decided it was better he recuperate at home.

The pair are already in London after representing the John Kirwan-coached Barbarians against the Wallabies at Twickenham on Sunday morning.

While having Parsons and Slade already in London was a bonus, All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster said the selectors believed they were the right men to fill the vacancies.

"James is one of a group we have been looking at," Foster said.

"In some ways it has been made simpler by the fact he is over here but what is more important is that he has just come off a big game of rugby whereas, maybe the other guys haven't had much rugby over the last two or three weeks."

Unless Dane Coles and Keven Mealamu get hurt at training this week there is no chance of Parsons being considered for Sunday morning's test against England at Twickenham.

However, he may be considered for the reserves bench against Scotland in Edinburgh the following weekend as the New Zealanders work to build their hooker depth.

Since the retirement of Andrew Hore, and with Corey Flynn now playing in France, the selectors looked to have settled on Harris as the No 3 rake in New Zealand.

Wellington's Motu Matu'u couldn't be considered because he is recovering from a shoulder operation, while others such as Liam Coltman and Rhys Marshall were introduced to the All Blacks set-up last year but a loss of form and concerns about their lineout throwing remain.

Foster said the selectors had been satisfied with the way Parsons performed during the Barbarians' 40-36 loss to the Wallabies and also noted he worked hard on his physique to ensure he could be more combative.

"Last year, one of the reasons James wasn't brought in was because he was a bit small," Foster said.

"But we have certainly met him with this year and he set himself some goals about the size and strength in that certain area."