Rugby Championship

All Blacks to relaunch Skud missile

2017-09-06 19:36
Nehe Milner-Skudder (Gallo Images)

New Plymouth - The All Blacks have made wholesale changes for their Rugby Championship Test against Argentina in New Plymouth on Saturday including a recall for Nehe Milner-Skudder. 

Coach Steve Hansen billed the promotion of seven players, when he named his side Thursday, as a chance for them to take "opportunities" after his frontline unit struggled to beat Australia in their last outing.

It will be the flying wing Milner-Skudder's first Test since the 2015 World Cup final.

He has been dogged by injury since then but now gets the chance to cement his place on the wing with Ben Smith taking a break from rugby for the rest of the year and Julian Savea failing to make the squad. 

It is one of four backline changes with Israel Dagg replacing Reiko Ioane on the right wing, Anton Lienert-Brown taking the 13 jersey from Ryan Crotty and TJ Perenara starting at scrum-half with Aaron Smith not even making the bench. 

In the forwards, blindside flank Vaea Fifita gets his first start in his second Test, lock Luke Romano makes his first start of the year while Ardie Savea starts at openside flanker with Sam Cane dropping to the bench.

While the All Blacks have won their opening two matches against Australia, Argentina have lost twice to South Africa. 

Hansen said while Argentina would be "desperate" to get their first championship points of the season it was a chance for lesser known All Blacks to stand up. 

"This Test match is all about us taking opportunities. It's an opportunity for our players to grow individually and collectively as a team," he said. 

"We've taken some key learnings from our first two Tests against Australia and now it's an opportunity to take those learnings into a Test match against an old foe who we know pretty well now. 

"Argentina are a dynamic, physical team who are growing their style of game. They are a proud people as well so they'll be desperate, so we'll have to be ready for that challenge." 

This will be the fourth Test the All Blacks have played at New Plymouth's Yarrow Stadium where they have never been beaten. 

They last played there in June 2013, defeating France 24-9.

The All Blacks have played Argentina 24 times, winning 23 and with one draw.


New Zealand

15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Israel Dagg, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Joe Moody

Substitutes: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 19 Scott Barrett, 20 Sam Cane, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Lima Sopoaga, 23 Ngani Laumape


15 Joaquin Tuculet, 14 Santiago Cordero, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Jeronimo de la Fuente, 11 Emiliano Boffelli, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Tomas Cubelli, 8 Benjamin Macome, 7 Javier Ortega Desio, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Matias Alemanno, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 2 Agustin Creevy (captain), 1 Lucas Noguera Paz

Substitutes: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Santiago Garcia Botta, 18 Enrique Pieretto Heilan, 19 Marcos Kremer, 20 Tomas Lezana, 21 Martin Landajo, 22 Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, 23 Matias Orlando

Read more on:    argentina  |  all blacks  |  rugby championship  |  rugby


Read News24’s Comments Policy


Did the Springboks' performance against the All Blacks in Wellington change your belief in who will win the Rugby World Cup?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2019/20 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.