If Canada’s 48-7 thrashing at the hands of Italy was any indication, the All Blacks look set for a big victory.
The last time the two sides faced each other was at the 2011 Rugby World Cup, with New Zealand taking out a 79-15 romp.
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen switched up the starting XV — 11 changes in total — that beat South Africa by 23-13 in the opener in Yokohama, with the return of Rieko Ioane a notable inclusion.
Ioane, who has fallen out of favour with the All Blacks selectors after being one of the standouts in 2017 and 2018, gets his first taste of World Cup rugby — replacing George Bridge, while Jordie Barrett comes in for Sevu Reece on the other wing.
Jack Goodhue also returns from injury to the starting XV, teaming up alongside Sonny Bill Williams in midfield. The All Blacks retain their dual playmaker roles with Beauden Barrett starting at fullback and Richie Mo’unga at first-five.
Continue reading below…
“Our aim is to win the next two pool matches against Canada and Namibia, as well as continuing to grow our game and manage the workload across the group. With two games four days apart, it’s obvious that we need to use our whole squad,” said Hansen.
“Whilst there’s a huge amount of energy and excitement amongst the whole team about what lies ahead, this week there has been a real focus on ourselves and our own standards.
“We’ve been working hard. We know we have to keep growing our game. We’ve always been demanding of ourselves when it comes to continued improvement, and that will never change. By doing so, it allows us to have the right attitude, intent and execution.
“When it comes to our preparation, it should never be about who we are playing, but how we are preparing individually and as a team, both mentally and physically. By doing this, it means you always respect your opponent and the jersey.”
Meanwhile, the 22nd ranked Canada are hoping to improve on their disappointing opening match, says halfback Gordon McRorie.
“Playing against the best team in the world is a great opportunity for us to really challenge ourselves and a big result for us would be if we can improve on our performance from Italy.”
Match details: Wednesday 2 October, 11:15pm, Oita Stadium, Oita.
Referee: Romain Poite
Beauden Barrett, Jordie Barrett, Jack Goodhue, Sonny Bill Williams, Rieko Ioane, Richie Mo’unga, TJ Perenara; Kieran Read (captain), Matt Todd, Shannon Frizell, Scott Barrett, Patrick Tuipulotu, Angus Ta’avao, Liam Coltman, Atu Moli.
Codie Taylor, Ofa Tuungafasi, Nepo Laulala, Sam Whitelock, Ardie Savea, Brad Weber, Ryan Crotty, Ben Smith.
Patrick Parfrey, Jeff Hassler, Conor Trainor, Ciaran Hearn, DTH Van Der Merwe, Peter Nelson, Gordon McRorie; Tyler Ardron (captain), Matt Heaton, Lucas Rumball, Conor Keys, Evan Olmstead, Cole Keith, Eric Howard, Djustice Sears-Duru.
Andrew Quattrin, Hubert Buydens, Jake Ilnicki, Michael Sheppard, Josh Larsen, Phil Mack, Taylor Paris, Andrew Coe.
In other news:
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now