All Blacks team named for Test against Italy


abs2016171. Wyatt Crockett (55)
2. Codie Taylor (12)
3. Charlie Faumuina (43)
4. Patrick Tuipulotu (11)
5. Scott Barrett (1)
6. Elliot Dixon (2)
7. Sam Cane – captain (38)
8. Steven Luatua (14)
9. Tawera Kerr-Barlow (24)
10. Aaron Cruden (44)
11. Waisake Naholo (9)
12. Anton Lienert-Brown (6)
13. Malakai Fekitoa (21)
14. Israel Dagg (58)
15. Damian McKenzie (1)16. Liam Coltman *
17. Joe Moody (21)
18. Ofa Tu’ungafasi (3)
19. Brodie Retallick (57)
20. Matt Todd (6)
21. Aaron Smith (55)
22. Lima Sopoaga (5)
23. Rieko Ioane *Coltman has been named at replacement hooker, with Codie Taylor picked to start in the number 2 jersey, alongside experienced props Wyatt Crockett and Charlie Faumuina. The replacement props for this Test match are Ofa Tu’ungafasi and Joe Moody. In the second row, Scott Barrett, who made his Test debut last weekend against Ireland, will start alongside Patrick Tuipulotu, with fellow lock Brodie Retallick returning to the All Blacks via the replacements bench.

In the loose forwards, matchday captain Sam Cane is at openside flanker, and will be alongside Elliot Dixon, who will play his third Test of the year, and Steven Luatua, who returns to the All Blacks in the number eight jersey.

In the backs, Tawera Kerr-Barlow will make his second start for the All Blacks, with Aaron Cruden at first five-eighths, in his 45th Test. Halfback Aaron Smith and Lima Sopoaga will provide inside backs cover from the replacements bench.

In the midfield, Anton Lienert-Brown is at second five-eighth in his seventh Test of the year, with Malakai Fekitoa at centre. Waisake Naholo gets his second consecutive Test start, moving to the left wing, with Israel Dagg named on the right wing, and Damian McKenzie is at fullback in his first Test start, after coming off the bench in his Test debut against Argentina last month. Rieko Ioane will cover the outside backs from the bench.

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: “On behalf of the entire All Blacks squad, we want to congratulate Liam and Rieko on their elevation to the matchday 23 for the first time. They have both worked incredibly hard and deserve their opportunity.

“Whilst we have made a number of changes, as we indicated, we will be looking for a massive improvement in our performance from last weekend.

“Italy will bring their own unique flavour to the game. They have a big, strong forward pack and some really exciting backs. They will look to drive their maul and be as disruptive as possible. Therefore, we will have to be clinical and effective in all aspects of our game, starting with our set piece. We are also expecting to see an improvement in our kicking game.”

All Blacks vs Italy – key facts

  • The All Blacks and Italy have played each other 12 times since their first Test in the 1987 Rugby World Cup, with the All Blacks unbeaten. Saturday’s Test will be just the third time the All Blacks have played Italy in Rome.
  • The most recent Test match was the match at the same venue in 2012, which the All Blacks won 42-10.
  • Seven players in this weekend’s matchday 23 also played that Test: Charlie Faumuina, Wyatt Crockett, Brodie Retallick, Sam Cane, Aaron Smith, Tawera Kerr-Barlow and Aaron Cruden. This will be Crockett’s fourth Test against Italy.
  • Sam Cane first captained the All Blacks against Namibia at last year’s Rugby World Cup.
  • Saturday’s Test will be the All Blacks 550th Test match
  • The All Blacks have scored four tries or more in their 11 consecutive matches this year.The Vista 2016 All Blacks Northern Tour1. All Blacks 29 Ireland 40. Saturday 5 November, Soldier Field, CHICAGO
    2. vs. ITALY, Sat 12 Nov, 3.00PM CET (Sun 13 Nov, 3.00AM NZT), Stadio Olimpico, ROME
    3. vs. IRELAND, Sat 19 Nov, 5.30PM GMT (Sun 20 Nov, 6.30AM NZT), Aviva Stadium, DUBLIN
    4. vs. FRANCE, Sat 26 Nov, 9.00PM CET (Sun 27 Nov, 9.00AM NZT)




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