One Change For All Blacks

The All Blacks side to play South Africa in their Rugby World Cup 2015 semi-final at Twickenham, London, on Saturday 24 October features just one change from last Saturday’s quarter-final win over France.  Joe Moody replaces the injured Wyatt Crockett (groin) in the starting line-up, and fellow prop Ben Franks moves onto the bench.  New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen says:  ‘We’ve had a great preparation so far this week.  We’ve put a full stop on last weekend’s performance and have been slowly building throughout the week to produce another game we can all be proud of.  Though we’ve met many times over the years, we’ve only played three times at the Rugby World Cup and these Cup finals matches are totally different.  They have a live or die nature to them and both teams will be desperate to advance.  As a group we’re really looking forward to this challenge.  It will require a massive amount of intensity and composure and accurate skill execution.  This team has high expectations of itself and enjoys the big occasions.  We’re all very much looking forward to Saturday.  It’s the fun part of the week where we get to express our skills, physicality and mental strength; all things we’ve been working really hard on this week.’

Hansen has also acknowledged the fantastic amount of support the All Blacks have received throughout the Rugby World Cup:  ‘On behalf of the team, we’d like to take the opportunity to thank all our families, fans and supporters, both here in the UK, at home and around the world.  Their support has not gone unnoticed by the team.  We’re very grateful to be able to represent them and our country and we’ll be endeavouring to once again make them all proud.’

 

The New Zealand match day squad is as follows (with Test caps in brackets):

Starting XV

1. Joe Moody (9)
2. Dane Coles (34)
3. Owen Franks (76)
4. Brodie Retallick (45)
5. Samuel Whitelock (71)
6. Jerome Kaino (65)
7. Richie McCaw (146) – captain
8. Kieran Read (82)
9. Aaron Smith (45)
10. Daniel Carter (110)
11. Julian Savea (39)
12. Ma’a Nonu (101)
13. Conrad Smith (92)
14. Nehe Milner-Skudder (6)
15. Ben Smith (46)

Reserves

16. Keven Mealamu (130)
17. Ben Franks (45)
18. Charlie Faumuina (31)
19. Victor Vito (32)
20. Sam Cane (29)
21. Tawera Kerr-Barlow (19)
22. Beauden Barrett (34)
23. Sonny Bill Williams (31)

Photo credit: Martin Myers