All Blacks team named for Test against Scotland
The All Blacks team has been named to play Scotland in the second Test of the Vista 2017 All Blacks Northern Tour at Murrayfield, Edinburgh, on Saturday 18 November. (Kick-off: 5.15PM BST, NZT: 6.15AM, Sunday 19 November.
The matchday 23 is as follows (with Test caps):
1. Kane Hames (7)
2. Codie Taylor (26)
3. Nepo Laulala (11)
4. Luke Romano (30)
5. Samuel Whitelock (94)
6. Vaea Fifita (4)
7. Sam Cane (51)
8. Kieran Read – captain (108)
9. Aaron Smith (69)
10. Beauden Barrett (60)
11. Rieko Ioane (11)
12. Sonny Bill Williams (44)
13. Ryan Crotty (33)
14. Waisake Naholo (16)
15. Damian McKenzie (10)
16. Nathan Harris (9)
17. Wyatt Crockett (69)
18. Ofa Tu’ungafasi (12)
19. Liam Squire (13)
20. Matt Todd (11)
21. TJ Perenara (40)
22. Lima Sopoaga (14)
23. Anton Lienert-Brown (20)
The match-day 23 features just two changes from the team which beat France 39-18 in Paris last weekend: Codie Taylor comes in at hooker for the injured Dane Coles, with Nathan Harris on the bench, and Liam Squire comes onto the bench in the 19 jersey.
All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: “This Test against Scotland will be an opportunity for this group of players to take on the challenge of raising the bar on the performance which was set down by their teammates on Tuesday.
“Scotland will be a formidable opponent who, from all indications, will be looking to play skilful rugby and an up-tempo game. Therefore, we’ll need to meet this challenge head on and be prepared to empty the tank and exert our own pressure upon them through both our physicality, our own tempo in the game and executing our skills at the highest level.
Hansen further said: “We look forward to playing at Murrayfield. It’s one of the iconic grounds in world rugby and there’s a lot of history between the two countries. Scotland, as always, has been a great country to tour and visit, and the people are always welcoming and hospitable.”
* The All Blacks have played Scotland 30 times since 1905, with 28 wins to the All Blacks and two draws. The last match between the two sides was at Murrayfield on the 2014 Northern Tour, which the All Blacks won 24-16.
* Ofa Tu’ungafasi and Lima Sopoaga will be playing their fourth match of the Vista Northern Tour.
* Lock Samuel Whitelock plays his 95th Test this weekend, joining teammate Owen Franks on the milestone, while halfback Aaron Smith and prop Wyatt Crockett will play their 70th Tests, joining former All Blacks great Andrew Mehrtens.
* Beauden Barrett has kicked 39 conversions in Test matches this year – just one short of his record 40 conversions from last year. These two numbers are the most by an All Black. Only one player has kicked more: Percy Montgomery kicked 52 conversions in 2007, the Rugby World Cup year.
* Barrett has also scored 148 Test points this year – just four shy of his 152 points from last year. No All Blacks has scored 150 points in consecutive years.
The Vista 2017 All Blacks Northern Tour
1. Barbarians 22 All Blacks 31, Saturday 4 November, Twickenham, LONDON
2. France 18 All Blacks 38, Saturday 11 November, Stade de France, PARIS
3. France XV 23 All Blacks 28, Tuesday 14 November, Groupama Stadium, LYON
4. vs. SCOTLAND, Saturday 18 November, Murrayfield, EDINBURGH
Kick-off: 5.15PM BST (NZT: 6.15AM, Sunday 19 November, NZT)
5. vs. WALES, Saturday 25 November, Millennium Stadium, CARDIFF
Kick-off: 5.15PM BST (NZT: 6.15AM, Sunday 26 November, NZT)