The All Blacks team has been named to play Argentina in the Investec Tri Nations Test at McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle, on Saturday 28 November.
The key feature of the squad is the selection of loosehead prop Joe Moody in his 50th Test. Moody made his Test debut in 2014, and has started 42 of his Tests to date.
The matchday 23 also sees prop Nepo Laulala come into the starting front row, with Tyrel Lomax moving onto the bench alongside Karl Tu’inukuafe; lock Scott Barrett starts with Patrick Tuipulotu on the bench; and loose forward Akira Ioane will start in the number six jersey, after his Test debut against Australia in Brisbane was cut short.
In the backs reserves, TJ Perenara returns, while outside back Will Jordan, who also had limited time in the Brisbane Test, will also get another opportunity, coming off the bench.
All Blacks Head Coach Ian Foster said: “We’ve had a great week building into what will be a vital Test for us. It’s exciting in the sense that we have the opportunity to redeem ourselves after our last game, and we also have the opportunity to win the Investec Tri Nations.
A shortened international season has meant this year's @AllBlacks debutants haven't had many opportunities to showcase their talents. That bodes well for the players who didn't make the trip to Australia, writes @TomVinicombe. #AllBlacks #ARGvNZLhttps://t.co/LzvmYbRTil
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) November 25, 2020
“There’s a real determination in the team to perform well, not only for ourselves, but also our families and friends at home and our country.”
Foster has also congratulated Moody on his milestone.
“He’s a key part of our group; he’s rock solid and goes about his work in a really good way. He’s a popular member of the team and it’s a great achievement for him.”
Argentina beat the All Blacks in a historic first-ever win 12 days ago and Foster said the All Blacks were expecting another torrid battle.
“Argentina have shown two weeks in a row that they can compete at the highest level. They’ve grown as a nation, they’ve got good size and a lot of skill, so we’re certainly going in with our eyes wide open.”
Stats and facts
* New Zealand and Argentina will be playing their 31st Test, with 29 wins to the All Blacks, the historic first win to the Argentinians in the last outing, and one draw in 1985.
* When they take the field on Saturday, Captain Sam Cane and outside back Jordie Barrett will have started all six All Blacks Tests this year.
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The matchday 23 is as follows (Number of Test caps in brackets):
1. Joe Moody (49)
2. Dane Coles (73)
3. Nepo Laulala (28)
4. Scott Barrett (39)
5. Samuel Whitelock (121)
6. Akira Ioane (1)
7. Sam Cane (73) – captain
8. Ardie Savea (48)
9. Aaron Smith (96)
10. Richie Mo’unga (21)
11. Caleb Clarke (4)
12. Jack Goodhue (17)
13. Anton Lienert-Brown (48)
14. Jordie Barrett (22)
15. Beauden Barrett (88)
16. Codie Taylor (56)
17. Karl Tu’inukuafe (16)
18. Tyrel Lomax (5)
19. Patrick Tuipulotu (34)
20. Hoskins Sotutu (4)
21. TJ Perenara (68)
22. Rieko Ioane (33)
23. Will Jordan (1)
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