All Blacks team named for second Steinlager Series Test
Kaino to play 50th Test at sold-out Forsyth Barr Stadium
The All Blacks team to play England in the eagerly-anticipated second Test of the Steinlager Series at Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, this Saturday 14 June, has been named.
The highlight of the squad announcement sees loose forward Jerome Kaino selected to play his 50th Test. There is one change from last week’s team. With Israel Dagg unavailable through injury, Ben Smith moves to fullback and Julian Savea comes back onto the wing.
The team is (with caps in brackets. * denotes uncapped player)
1. Tony Woodcock (108)
2. Dane Coles (16)
3. Owen Franks (55)
4. Brodie Retallick (25)
5. Samuel Whitelock (52)
6. Liam Messam (30)
7. Richie McCaw – captain (125)
8. Jerome Kaino (49)
9. Aaron Smith (27)
10. Aaron Cruden (30)
11. Julian Savea (20)
12. Ma’a Nonu (89)
13. Conrad Smith (76)
14. Cory Jane (46)
15. Ben Smith (27)
16. Keven Mealamu (111)
17. Wyatt Crockett (25
18. Charlie Faumuina (18)
19. Patrick Tuipulotu *
20. Victor Vito (23)
21. TJ Perenara (1)
22. Beauden Barrett (17)
23. Malakai Fekitoa (1)
All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: “We are expecting another big contest this weekend and with England sure to make improvements in their game, we will have to improve massively ourselves.
“We have worked hard on our skillsets, attitude and the detail in our game, which wasn’t up to All Blacks standard last week.
“Our mindset this week has been all about improvement, taking ownership and responsibility for our individual roles with the aim of delivering a team performance we can all be proud of.
“We have a strong belief in what we are trying to do and I assume the English do as well. So come 7.35 on Saturday night, it’s game on once again. That’s what Test rugby is all about and that’s why we can’t wait for Saturday night to arrive.”
Forsyth Barr Stadium is sold out for this weekend’s Test with a capacity crowd of 28,500 expected to be in attendance.
* Aaron Cruden, who scored 15 points in his 30th Test on the weekend, became the 11th All Black to score more than 200 Test points. The ten ahead of him are familiar names: Carter, Mehrtens, Fox, Spencer, Howlett, Cullen, Wilson, Rokocoko and the legendry Don Clarke. Cruden has kicked 38 penalties for the All Blacks – exactly the same as Clarke.
* Ma’a Nonu will play his 90th Test this weekend. He is the seventh most capped All Black of all time behind Richie McCaw, Keven Mealamu, Tony Woodcock, Dan Carter, Mils Muliaina and Sean Fitzpatrick.
* McCaw extended his winning record to 111 Tests last weekend, Mealamu to 95 and Woodcock is in third equal place with George Gregan with 93 wins. Meanwhile, Woodcock will play his 12th Test match against England. He has been on the winning side ten times.
* Mealamu also last weekend equalled Fitzpatrick’s career record of 346 first class games. They are second equal to Colin Meads who played a staggering 361.
* Conrad Smith scored his 25th try for the All Blacks on the weekend. Nonu also has 25.
* Beauden Barrett has played in 17 Test matches and been in the winning team each time – thus equalling the world record of English prop Trevor Woodman who also began his career with 17 wins.
Steinlager Series Tests against England
1. Eden Park, Auckland, 7.35PM, Saturday 7 June. All Blacks 20 England 15
2. Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, 7.35PM, Saturday 14 June
3. Waikato Stadium, Hamilton, 7.35PM, Saturday 21 June
The All Blacks With a history extending back to the 1880s, New Zealand’s national rugby team, the All Blacks, is not only the most successful international rugby team of all time but also one of the most successful teams in world sport, with a winning Test record of more than 76 per cent and a winning record of 93 per cent since 2012. The All Blacks play European opponents every year in the Steinlager Series and again at the end of the year, and play Argentina, Australia and South Africa annually in the Investec Rugby Championship. The All Blacks were crowned Rugby World Cup Champions in 2011 to add to their Webb Ellis Cup win in the inaugural Tournament in 1987 and in 2013 became the first international team in the professional era to go through the season unbeaten. The team has been named the IRB Team of the Year a record seven times.