All Blacks ring changes for Italy Test

2018-11-22 07:07
TJ Perenara (Gallo Images)

Rome - All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has named his team to face Italy at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday.

Kick-off is scheduled for 16:00 (SA time).

Hansen made 11 changes to the starting XV that lost 16-9 against Ireland in Dublin last weekend.

Up front, props Ofa Tuungafasi and Nepo Laulala combine with hooker Dane Coles in the starting front row, with props Karl Tu’inukuafe and Angus Ta’avao, and hooker Nathan Harris to provide front row impact off the bench.

Scott Barrett and Patrick Tuipulotu are in the second row, with Brodie Retallick on the bench, while in the loose forwards, Vaea Fifita starts at No 6 alongside Ardie Savea and captain Kieran Read. Dalton Papalii will provide loose forward cover off the bench.

In the backline, TJ Perenara starts in place of Aaron Smith at scrumhalf, with Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi on the bench, while Beauden Barrett remains at flyhalf.

The midfield combo of Ngani Laumape and Anton Lienert-Brown will start, with the back three made up of Waisake Naholo on the left wing, Jordie Barrett on the right and Damian McKenzie at fullback.

The other backline substitutes are Richie Mo’unga and Rieko Ioane.

“We’ve got an excited group of players who are keen to make the most of their opportunity and represent the jersey, themselves and their country with a strong performance on Saturday,” Hansen told the All Blacks’ official website.

“The group is aware that this is our last week together and they’re determined to really prepare well, play well and enjoy every moment of the week. After two big Tests, it’s been necessary to make some changes and those guys who have come in have provided a real energy and enthusiasm to our week’s preparation.”
Hansen said Italy would bring their own unique challenges.

“The Italians will bring plenty of line speed, with a wide defensive spread, and again allows us to experience playing this type of team. They’re big men who play with a lot of passion and pride. We saw in their match against Australia last week just how difficult they can be to play if you allow them to dictate the terms of the game.

“Our goal will be to create quality set-piece ball and lightning quick ruck ball, coupled with a real accuracy in our decision-making so we can use our skill-sets accordingly. We look forward to again playing at Stadio Olimpico in front of the Italian people and delivering a performance we can all be proud of.”




New Zealand

15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Jordie Barrett, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Waisake Naholo, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Ofa Tuungafasi

Substitutes: 16 Nathan Harris, 17 Karl Tu'inukuafe, 18 Angus Ta'avao, 19 Brodie Retallick, 20 Dalton Papalii, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Richie Mo'unga, 23 Rieko Ioane

Read more on:    italy  |  all blacks  |  steve hansen  |  rugby


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