All Blacks team for second Test against Wales
The All Blacks side to play the second Test of the Steinlager Series against Wales at a sold-out Westpac Stadium, Wellington, this Saturday 18 June, has been named.
The team is (with Test caps in brackets):
1. Joe Moody (12)
2. Dane Coles (37)
3. Owen Franks (79)
4. Brodie Retallick (48)
5. Samuel Whitelock (73)
6. Jerome Kaino (68)
7. Sam Cane (32)
8. Kieran Read – captain (85)
9. Aaron Smith (48)
10. Aaron Cruden (38)
11. Waisake Naholo (4)
12. Ryan Crotty (16)
13. Malakai Fekitoa (14)
14. Ben Smith (49)
15. Israel Dagg (49)
16. Nathan Harris (3)
17. Wyatt Crockett (46)
18. Charlie Faumuina (34)
19. Patrick Tuipulotu (8)
20. Ardie Savea (1)
21. TJ Perenara (18)
22. Beauden Barrett (37)
23. Seta Tamanivalu (1)
The All Blacks matchday 23 features just two changes from the team that played last weekend’s opening Test match: 73-Test lock Samuel Whitelock returns to the side, replacing Luke Romano, while Israel Dagg has been named at fullback for what will be his 50th Test match, with Ben Smith, who is also playing his 50th Test, moving to the wing, replacing Julian Savea. The bench is unchanged.
All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: “Our performance in the first Test was very pleasing in a number of ways, especially how we kept our composure under pressure. However, there is an expectation that we will need to improve right across the board, with better accuracy, in both our attack and defence, combined with more physicality and intensity.
“We are expecting Wales to come out all guns blazing, particularly after what happened in the Chiefs game, so we will have to not only meet that response, but go to a higher level ourselves.
“Also, on behalf of the team, we would like to congratulate Bender (Ben Smith) and Izzy (Israel Dagg) on reaching their 50th Tests. It’s a special achievement to play one Test, so to get 50 is a wonderful milestone.”
To watch Steve Hansen talk about the selections for the second Steinlager Series Test, click here
Key points of interest
• Aaron Cruden is the fourth All Black to kick more than 50 conversions in their Test match career – he now has 52. Next above him is Grant Fox with 118. Cruden is also fourth on the list of penalty goals, with 56 penalties.
• Cruden also needs just six points to make 300 in Test matches.
• Owen Franks will play his 80th Test match this weekend. He is the second most capped prop and 12th on the All Blacks all-time Test appearances list.
• Waisake Naholo has scored three pairs of tries in his last four games after picking up doubles against the Chiefs and Crusaders in Investec Super Rugby.
• The Steinlager Series is an official sell-out. The last tickets to this weekend’s Test at Westpac Stadium went this week and 29,000 fans will pack Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin for the final Test of the Series.
Steinlager Series Tests against Wales
ALL BLACKS 39 WALES 21. Saturday 11 June, Eden Park, AUCKLAND
ALL BLACKS vs. WALES. Saturday 18 June, 7.35PM, Westpac Stadium, WELLINGTON
ALL BLACKS vs. WALES. Saturday 25 June, 7.35PM, Forsyth Barr Stadium, DUNEDIN
The All Blacks With a history extending back more than a century, New Zealand’s national rugby team, the All Blacks, is not only the most successful international rugby team of all time but also one of the most successful teams in world sport, with a winning Test record of more than 75 percent. The All Blacks play European opponents every year in the Steinlager Series and again at the end of the year, and play Argentina, Australia and South Africa annually in the Investec Rugby Championship. In 2015 the All Blacks became the first team to win back-to-back Rugby World Cups, following their victory in 2011, and the first team to win three RWCs, with the All Blacks winning the inaugural Tournament in 1987. In 2013 they became the first international team in the professional era to go through the season unbeaten. The team has been named the World Rugby Team of the Year a record nine times and was named Laureus Team of the Year in 2016.