All Blacks team named for Cape Town Test against South Africa
The All Blacks team has been named to play the final Investec Championship match against South Africa at DHL Newlands Stadium, Cape Town, this Saturday 7 October.
The matchday 23 (with Test caps in brackets) is:
1. Kane Hames (4)
2. Dane Coles (53)
3. Nepo Laulala (8)
4. Samuel Whitelock (91)
5. Scott Barrett (12)
6. Liam Squire (11)
7. Sam Cane (48)
8. Kieran Read (105) – Captain
9. Aaron Smith (66)
10. Beauden Barrett (58)
11. Rieko Ioane (8)
12. Sonny Bill Williams (41)
13. Ryan Crotty (30)
14. Nehe Milner-Skudder (10)
15. Damian McKenzie (7)
16. Codie Taylor (24)
17. Wyatt Crockett (66)
18. Ofa Tu’ungafasi (9)
19. Patrick Tuipulotu (13)
20. Matt Todd (9)
21. Tawera Kerr-Barlow (26)
22. Lima Sopoaga (11)
23. David Havili (1)
As expected, the five All Blacks who came to South Africa early have all been named in the matchday 23. Samuel Whitelock returns to the second row alongside Scott Barrett, Liam Squire is at blindside flanker and Sam Cane is at openside, with Matt Todd moving to the bench.
In the backs, Ryan Crotty has been named at centre, while Nehe Milner-Skudder is on the right wing. Tawera Kerr-Barlow has been named at reserve halfback while Lima Sopoaga provides additional back cover alongside David Havili.
All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: “We’ve settled in well in Cape Town this week. However, our preparation has been different because of the need to recover well from all the travel. This has meant that there’s been less time on the park and an even greater emphasis than normal on the mental side of our preparation. As always, getting real clarity of our roles and how we want to play has been key.
“We know we’ll be playing a proud Springbok side which will be determined to rectify what happened in Albany. While it’s necessary for us to try and anticipate what they’re going to bring to the match, it’s more important for us to focus on what we’re going to bring to the encounter. Our skill execution, our physicality and our ability to play our ‘triple threat’ game will be critical.
“The team is really looking forward to playing at Newlands after a nine-year absence. We know we have a huge fanbase here and the hospitality and reception we have received from the local folks has been fantastic. We look forward to their support, as well as the support of all our New Zealand and global fans, come Saturday.”
* The All Blacks and South Africa have played each other 94 times, with 56 wins to the All Blacks, 35 to South Africa and three draws.
* This will be the tenth time the All Blacks have played South Africa at Newlands. The last match there was in 2008, which the All Blacks won 19-0. South Africa have won eight of their last 10 Tests there.
* David Havili’s debut try last weekend was the 100th Test match try converted by Beauden Barrett. As well, Barrett has already equalled his last year’s Investec Rugby Championship record of 23 conversions for the season. The all-time record for the All Blacks is 27.
* Barrett and his teammate Damian McKenzie have each made 57 carries this campaign, more than any other player at the tournament.
* The All Blacks have scored 49 tries this year, so the next one makes 50 – and that will be the 13th time this century. It is ten years since any other team has reached 50 tries.
* The All Blacks won The Rugby Championship in 2012 – 2014 and again in 2016 and 2017, have held the Freedom Cup (played between New Zealand and South Africa) since 2010 and the Bledisloe Cup (played between New Zealand and Australia) since 2003.
Investec Rugby Championship
1. Australia 34 All Blacks 54. Saturday 19 August, ANZ Stadium, SYDNEY
2. All Blacks 35 Australia 29. Saturday 26 August, Forsyth Barr Stadium, DUNEDIN
3. All Blacks 39 Argentina 22. Saturday 9 Sept, Yarrow Stadium, NEW PLYMOUTH
4. All Blacks 57 South Africa 00. Saturday 16 September, QBE Stadium, AUCKLAND
5. Argentina 10 All Blacks 36. Sat 30 Sept, Estadio José Amalfitani, BUENOS AIRES
6. vs. SOUTH AFRICA. Saturday 7 October, 5.05PM, DHL Newlands, CAPE TOWN
Third Bledisloe Cup Test
1. vs. AUSTRALIA, Saturday 21 October, 8.05PM, Suncorp Stadium, BRISBANE