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Could ABs lose top spot?


All you need to know: How the All Blacks could lose their No 1 world ranking this weekend

By NZ Herald

Since November 16, 2009, the All Blacks have been the pinnacle of men’s international rugby.

However, their reign could come to an end tomorrow morning should they be tipped up by Argentina in their opening game of the Rugby Championship.

If the Pumas beat the All Blacks by more than 15 points in Buenos Aires, the New Zealand side would lose their No 1 ranking to Wales, who would take over the mantle for the first time in their history, Wales Online reports.

Here’s what else you need to know ahead of the All Blacks’ first test of the year.

All Blacks v Argentina, Sunday July 21, 6.05am kickoff (NZT)

It certainly isn’t the most experienced All Blacks team you’ll ever see, with five players yet to make their debut included in the match day 23. Sevu Reece starts on the right wing in his debut, while Atu Moli, Braydon Ennor, Josh Ioane and Luke Jacobson are poised to make their mark on the game off the bench.

The Sam Cane-captained side will meet a Pumas outfit extremely familiar with one another, with many of the players fronting from the Jaguares during the Super Rugby season. Of the 23 selected for the game by coach Mario Ledesma, only three do not play for the country’s only Super Rugby franchise, with No 10 Nicolas Sanchez (Stade Francais), tighthead prop Juan Figallo (Montpellier) and reserve halfback Felipe Ezcurra (Leicester) earning a spot in the side.

The All Blacks have won 27 of the 28 previous meetings between the two sides, with a solitary draw in 1985.

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All you need to know: How the All Blacks could lose their No 1 world ranking this weekend
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