After experimenting with several new combinations last week – changes that the All Blacks coaches admit may have contributed to their loss against the Wallabies – Ian Foster has gone with plan A against the Pumas.
It provides an insight into the All Blacks selectors’ first choice side, with Foster opting for basically his best side possible against the Argentineans, who will play their first test since last year’s Rugby World Cup.
“A number of players have had a week off and are fresh,” said Foster. “The whole team is pretty determined to put a performance in that shows we’ve grown over the last few weeks, so going to those existing combinations is quite important.”
Foster said the players will be determined to bounce back from the defeat.
“It’s a sombre feeling when you lose in the black jersey. We’re frustrated about that. There were a number of guys who went out for their first hitout for a while, and there was a bit of rust in the combinations.
“It was a formula we had to do because we’ve got some players we need to give some opportunity to. But it was a stark reminder that you’ve got to be ready. There have been a lot of good conversations gone on this week, and there are some players disappointed. That’s the way it should be.
“What it teaches you is when you get a chance, this All Blacks jersey demands a performance and when we don’t perform at the level we expect we have to go away and work twice as hard off the park.”
Meanwhile, the Pumas won’t be lacking any motivation either, with players keen to put in a good performance for fans back home, where Covid-19 has hit hard.
“The key to this week is to give up everything for this jersey,” Pumas No 8 Rodrigo Bruni said.
“The thing I highlight most about this group is that they never give up.
“A few months ago we were training and didn’t know whether we were going to play.”
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) November 13, 2020
Match details: Saturday 14 November, 7.10pm, Bankwest Stadium, Sydney
All Blacks: 1.Joe Moody, 2.Dane Coles, 3.Tyrel Lomax, 4.Patrick Tuipulotu, 5.Samuel Whitelock, 6.Shannon Frizell, 7.Sam Cane (captain), 8.Ardie Savea, 9.Aaron Smith, 10.Richie Mo’unga, 11.Caleb Clarke, 12.Jack Goodhue, 13.Anton Lienert-Brown, 14.Jordie Barrett, 15.Beauden Barrett.
Substitutes: 16.Codie Taylor, 17.Alex Hodgman, 18.Nepo Laulala, 19.Tupou Vaa’i, 20.Hoskins Sotutu, 21.Brad Weber, 22.Rieko Ioane, 23.Damian McKenzie.
Argentina: 1.Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 2.Julián Montoya, 3.Francisco Gómez Kodela, 4.Guido Petti, 5.Matías Alemanno, 6.Pablo Matera (captain), 7.Marcos Kremer, 8.Rodrigo Bruni; 9.Tomás Cubelli, 10.Nicolás Sánchez, 11.Juan Imhoff, 12.Santiago Chocobares, 13.Matías Orlando, 14.Bautista Delguy, 15.Santiago Carreras.
Substitutes: 16.Facundo Bosch, 17.Mayco Vivas, 18.Santiago Medrano, 19.Santiago Grondona, 20.Tomás Lezana, 21.Gonzalo Bertranou, 22.Lucio Cinti, 23.Santiago Cordero.
Won: All Blacks 28, Drawn 1
Last time: All Blacks 20, Argentina 16 (20 July 2019)
All Blacks: $1.03
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