All Blacks team named for Buenos Aires
Test against Argentina
The All Blacks team to play Argentina in the Investec Rugby Championship Test at Estadio Jose Amalfitani in Buenos Aires on Saturday 1 October has been named.
The matchday 23 is (with Test caps in brackets. New caps in bold):
1. Joe Moody (17)
2. Dane Coles (43)
3. Owen Franks (84)
4. Patrick Tuipulotu (9)
5. Brodie Retallick (54)
6. Liam Squire (3)
7. Ardie Savea (6)
8. Kieran Read – capt (91)
9. TJ Perenara (23)
10. Beauden Barrett (43)
11. Julian Savea (47)
12. Ryan Crotty (21)
13. Anton Lienert-Brown (3)
14. Israel Dagg (55)
15. Ben Smith (55)
16. Codie Taylor (8)
17. Wyatt Crockett (52)
18. Ofa Tu’ungafasi (1)
19. Samuel Whitelock (79)
20. Elliot Dixon (1)
21. Tawera Kerr-Barlow (21)
22. Lima Sopoaga (3)
23. Damian McKenzie
The Test team features several changes to the 23 which played South Africa in Christchurch earlier this month.
In the forwards, loose forward Liam Squire will make his first Test start in his fourth Test, at blindside flanker, replacing the injured Jerome Kaino. In other forward changes, lock Patrick Tuipulotu will start alongside Brodie Retallick, with Sam Whitelock moving to the bench; Ofa Tu’ungafasi comes onto the bench as replacement prop for Charlie Faumuina; while Elliot Dixon comes into the 23 as loose forward cover.
In the backs, TJ Perenara will start at halfback, with Tawera Kerr-Barlow coming onto the bench, while Anton Lienert-Brown will start at centre in his fourth Test, replacing Malaki Fekitoa. Damian McKenzie has been picked in a matchday 23 for the first time and will become All Black number 1154 when he makes his expected Test debut from the bench.
All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: “When it came to selecting this side, our key focus was to select a team that would maintain a high standard of performance and also allow us to grow our player depth and experience in the Test arena. We also took into consideration the fact that we have seven Tests under our belts this year and more Tests and a lot of international travel to come. The expectation is that this side will build on the performances we’ve produced so far this year and play a game we can all be proud of.
“Having said that, this weekend presents a massive challenge for us. Argentina are a very good team and we have a huge amount of respect for them. They put us under real pressure at times during the Test in Hamilton and we’ve worked really hard this week to prepare for what we expect to be coming this weekend.
“Argentina are playing in front of their passionate home crowd and will feed off that passion. They’ll bring their trademark physicality as well as their flair, and ability to offload, to the contest. We’ll have to start well to take the crowd out of the game. To do that we’ll need to bring intensity, purpose and accuracy to all aspects of our game.”
All Blacks v Argentina – key facts
* The All Blacks have played Argentina 23 times, with 22 wins to the All Blacks and one draw. The All Blacks won the home Investec Rugby Championship Test match 57-22 in Hamilton earlier this month.
* If Sam Whitelock comes off the bench as expected, he will play his 80th Test and become the most capped All Blacks lock in history, overtaking Ian Jones. Meanwhile, Owen Franks will play his 85th Test, while All Blacks captain Kieran Read will play his 92nd Test, becoming the eighth-equal most capped All Black of all time.
* The All Blacks last weekend equalled their own record of scoring 24 tries in an Investec Rugby Championship season.
* Julian Savea has scored nine tries against Argentina and currently holds the joint record (with former Wallaby David Campese).
* On the subject of tries, Ben Smith’s try against South Africa was the 1900th scored by the All Blacks in Test matches. That’s an average of 3.5 tries per Test throughout the team’s history.
The Investec Rugby Championship – All Blacks Tests
1. Australia 8 v 42 All Blacks , Saturday 20 August, ANZ Stadium, SYDNEY
2. All Blacks 29 v 9 Australia , Saturday 27 August, Westpac Stadium, WELLINGTON
3. All Blacks 57 v 22 Argentina , Sat 10 September, FMG Stadium Waikato, HAMILTON
4. All Blacks 41 v 13 South Africa , Sat 17 September, AMI Stadium, CHRISTCHURCH
5. vs. ARGENTINA. Sat 1 October, 7.10PM, Estadio Jose Amalfitani, BUENOS AIRES
6. vs. SOUTH AFRICA. Sat 8 October, 5.05PM, Growthpoint Kings Park, DURBAN