All Blacks team named for Durban Test against South Africa
The All Blacks team to play South Africa in the final Investec Rugby Championship Test at Growthpoint Kings Park, Durban, on Saturday 8 October, has been named.
The matchday 23 is (with Test caps in brackets):
1. Joe Moody (18)
2. Dane Coles (44)
3. Owen Franks (85)
4. Brodie Retallick (55)
5. Samuel Whitelock (80)
6. Jerome Kaino (72)
7. Matt Todd (4)
8. Kieran Read – capt (92)
9. TJ Perenara (24)
10. Beauden Barrett (44)
11. Waisake Naholo (7)
12. Ryan Crotty (22)
13. Anton Lienert-Brown (4)
14. Israel Dagg (56)
15. Ben Smith (56)
16. Codie Taylor (9)
17. Wyatt Crockett (53)
18. Charlie Faumuina (40)
19. Liam Squire (4)
20. Ardie Savea (7)
21. Tawera Kerr-Barlow (22)
22. Lima Sopoaga (4)
23. George Moala (2)
The matchday 23 features several changes to the side which beat Argentina in Buenos Aires last weekend.
In the forwards, lock Sam Whitelock moves from the bench to the starting five jersey, replacing Patrick Tuipulotu; loose forward Jerome Kaino is back in the six jersey, with Liam Squire moving to the replacements; while Matt Todd takes over the seven jersey from Ardie Savea, who also moves to the replacements. Charlie Faumuina replaces Ofa Tu’ungafasi as one of the replacement props.
In the backs, wing Waisake Naholo returns to the matchday 23 replacing Julian Savea in the 11 jersey. George Moala is the only other backs change in the matchday 23, coming in for Damian McKenzie in the replacements.
All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: “The selectors believe we have picked a strong combination for this Test. We’ve been able to bring fresh players back into the group which is vital at this time of the year and allows us to continue to grow some depth.
“We are especially looking forward to this game as any Test match against South Africa is seen as one of the matches of the season. We’re expecting to be facing a very confident South African team after their win over Australia, and a torrid battle against our traditional foe. We’re expecting them to throw the kitchen sink at us,” Hansen said.
“We’ve had a well-planned preparation this week, with the aim of ensuring that we have a full tank come Saturday, and also clarity in our game so that we can bring our own physicality and intensity to the contest.”
All Blacks v South Africa – key facts
* The All Blacks and South Africa have played each other 92 times, with 54 wins to the All Blacks, 35 to South Africa and three draws. The most recent match was the 41-13 Investec Rugby Championship win to the All Blacks in Christchurch last month.
* Durban hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for the All Blacks throughout history: they have played there eight times, most recently in 2009, with a record of five losses and three wins. Five of the six previous meetings at Kings Park have been decided by fewer than 10 points.
* As well as already winning the Investec Rugby Championship, the All Blacks have also scored a Rugby Championship record of 29 tries in a season and a record 205 points in a season.
* With his five pointer last weekend, Ben Smith became the first international player to score six tries in Test matches this year.
The Investec Rugby Championship – All Blacks Tests
1. Australia 8 All Blacks 42, Saturday 20 August, ANZ Stadium, SYDNEY
2. All Blacks 29 Australia 9, Saturday 27 August, Westpac Stadium, WELLINGTON
3. All Blacks 57 Argentina 22. Sat 10 September, FMG Stadium Waikato, HAMILTON
4. All Blacks 41 South Africa 13. Sat 17 September, AMI Stadium, CHRISTCHURCH
5. Argentina 17. All Blacks 36. Sat 1 Oct, Estadio Jose Amalfitani, BUENOS AIRES
6. vs. SOUTH AFRICA. Sat 8 October, 5.05PM, Growthpoint Kings Park, DURBAN