Rugby Championship

All Blacks forced into late Bledisloe Cup change

2017-10-20 08:23
Matt Todd (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - The All Blacks have been forced into a late change ahead of Saturday's Bledisloe Cup Test, after reserve flank Matt Todd picked up a groin injury in training.

According to the website, Ardie Savea has come onto the bench as his replacement for the dead rubber against the Wallabies at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

The selection of Todd over Savea in the first place had been an intriguing one.

The Crusaders stalwart wasn't included in the All Blacks' initial squad for either the Rugby Championship or the British and Irish Lions Tour.

Despite that, he has made two appearances this season - starting in the 36-10 win over Argentina in Buenos Aires, when Sam Cane was rested, then coming off the bench in the 25-24 win over South Africa in Cape Town the following week, where he was preferred over Savea as back-up.

Rather than take a spare back to Brisbane for the week, coach Steve Hansen opted for three openside flanks, and then plumped for Todd to begin on the bench over Savea for the second Test in a row.

Now, with this injury, Todd will have to wait to add to this 10 All Blacks caps, as he has had to do so often in his career, with first Richie McCaw, then Cane, having a lock on the No 7 jersey.

Cane will start there once more on Saturday, in his 50th Test, as the All Blacks look to complete a 3-0 sweep of the Wallabies this year.

Kick-off is at 11:00 (SA time).



15 Israel Folau, 14 Marika Koroibete, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Reece Hodge, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Will Genia, 8 Sean McMahon, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Jack Dempsey, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Scott Sio

Substitutes: 16 Stephen Moore, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Allan Alaalatoa, 19 Lukhan Tui, 20 Ned Hanigan, 21 Nick Phipps, 22  Samu Kerevi, 23 Henry Speight

New Zealand

15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Squire, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Samuel Whitelock, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Kane Hames

Substitutes: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Anton Lienert-Brown, 23 David Havili

Read more on:    wallabies  |  all blacks  |  rugby


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