All Blacks Name Squad For Bledisloe Cup Test Against Australia

The All Blacks team to play Australia in the third Bledisloe Cup Test of the year has been named.  The Test will be played at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, this Saturday 18 October.  The starting XV features two changes from the front row which started the Test against South Africa 12 days ago, with Dane Coles starting at hooker and prop Wyatt Crockett coming back from injury at loosehead prop.

Lock Brodie Retallick also returns from injury to the second row and Liam Messam is at blindside flanker.  The backline features just one change, with Cory Jane coming in for the rested Ben Smith on the right wing.  On the reserves bench, Patrick Tuipulotu has been named at reserve lock, Sam Cane comes in as loose forward cover, TJ Perenara is reserve halfback and Charles Piutau comes in to cover the outside backs.

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said, “There is a real sense of determination in the team this week to prepare well and put in a quality performance on the weekend.  There were some aspects of our game in the loss to South Africa that we weren’t happy with and we have worked hard on addressing those this week.  There is always an expectation that when you pull on the All Blacks jersey, that individually and collectively as a team, you will play well and this week is no different.”  The team is (with Test caps in brackets):

Starting XV:

1. Wyatt Crockett (32)
2. Dane Coles (23)
3. Owen Franks (63)
4. Brodie Retallick (32)
5. Samuel Whitelock (59)
6. Liam Messam (35)
7. Richie McCaw (captain) (133)
8. Kieran Read (68)
9. Aaron Smith (35)
10. Beauden Barrett (25)
11. Julian Savea (28)
12. Malakai Fekitoa (6)
13. Conrad Smith (82)
14. Cory Jane (51)
15. Israel Dagg (42)

16. Keven Mealamu (119)
17. Ben Franks (37)
18. Charlie Faumuina (22)
19. Patrick Tuipulotu (3)
20. Sam Cane (19)
21. TJ Perenara (6)
22. Colin Slade (14)
23. Charles Piutau (10)