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Retallick to captain All Blacks as Moody returns for Los Pumas

By Alex McLeod
Brodie Retallick. (Photo by Will Russell/Getty Images)

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Brodie Retallick will captain the All Blacks for the first time in his test career when they face off against Los Pumas on the Gold Coast this Sunday.


Retallick, who was named as one of two vice-captains for the Rugby Championship, takes the leadership duties off stand-in captain Ardie Savea, who has been left out of the clash at Cbus Super Stadium.

Savea’s absence paves the way for Luke Jacobson to earn his third international start this season, with the seven-test No 8 joining Dalton Paplii and last week’s man-of-the-match Akira Ioane in the loose forwards.

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Former Wallabies greats Mat Rogers and Lote Tuqiri interviews
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The inclusion of Jacobson in the starting lineup is one of six changes made by head coach Ian Foster to the run-on side from the team that defeated the Wallabies 38-21 at Optus Stadium in Perth last Sunday.

Two of those changes come in the front row, where Karl Tu’inukuafe replaces George Bower at loosehead prop to get his second start of the year in the black jersey, while Asafo Aumua will play his third test as Samisoni Taukei’aho stays put on the bench.

Bower doesn’t feature at all in the match day squad, as veteran prop Joe Moody returns from a five-month sideline spell caused by foot injury sustained during Super Rugby Aotearoa to start from the bench.

He will be partnered by Tyrel Lomax, who hasn’t played for the All Blacks since their clash against Fiji in Dunedin two months ago, as the two replacement props.


In the backline, TJ Perenara swaps in at halfback for Brad Weber, to has dropped to the bench, and will alongside former long-time halves partner Beauden Barrett for the first time since last year’s Bledisloe Cup defeat to the Wallabies in Brisbane.

After two appearances off the bench for the All Blacks following his return to the national camp from his sabbatical in Japan during the first half of the year, this week’s test will be the first time Perenara has started for the All Blacks in 2021.

It will also be just the 18th time he has started a test match in his 71-cap career, with five of those previous starts coming against Argentina.

The midfield of David Havili and Anton Lienert-Brown, meanwhile, remains unchanged, but there is a new look to the back three as both Rieko Ioane and Will Jordan have dropped out of the starting team.


Ioane, one of the standouts in last week’s win over Australia, will instead start from the No 23 jersey, while Jordan, who dotted down for his 11th try in just his seventh test against the Wallabies, has been given a rest in the wake of his try-scoring feats.

In their places on the left and right wings come George Bridge – who marked his return from injury with a try off the in Perth – and Sevu Reece, while Jordie Barrett retains the No 15 jersey after his red card was rescinded by SANZAAR earlier this week.

Moody, Lomax, Weber and Ioane act as the new faces in the reserves, where Damian McKenzie will provide cover as playmaker, and Ethan Blackadder and Tupou Vaa’i will be hoping for more extensive game time against Argentina.

Foster said in a statement that the rotation of his side is a necessity given the travel conditions they are working under as he looks to keep his players preserved and fresh for the upcoming matches against the Springboks.

“The key to selection this week has been about managing the player workload across the whole squad, which I think all teams will be doing in the Championship,” he said.

“We want to ensure we have a fresh, excited squad ready to play a physical and passionate Argentinian team.

“They’ve had a tough time on the road with matches in Europe and South Africa before coming to Australia. But we know from last year that when they spend a lot of time together it really unifies them, so we’re expecting a torrid game.”

He added the selection of Retallick as captain is indicative of his stature in the squad, which has grown immensely ever since his test debut back in 2012 against Ireland.

“Brodie is a great leader in this team and we don’t take his leadership for granted,” Foster said.

“We think this is a great honour for him, and he and his family can be hugely proud.  He’s playing really well and leads from the front. He has come back into the black jersey this year and just picked up where he left off.

“He also has an experienced partner in Beaudy (Barrett) alongside him who is bringing a calmness to the team and a sense of direction and we’re seeing that in the way he plays.”

All Blacks team to play Los Pumas

1. Karl Tu’inukuafe
2. Asafo Aumua
3. Nepo Laulala
4. Brodie Retallick (c)
5. Scott Barrett
6. Akira Ioane
7. Dalton Papalii
8. Luke Jacobson
9. TJ Perenara
10. Beauden Barrett
11. George Bridge
12. David Havili
13. Anton Lienert-Brown
14. Sevu Reece
15. Jordie Barrett


16. Samisoni Taukei’aho
17. Joe Moody
18. Tyrel Lomax
19. Tupou Vaa’i
20. Ethan Blackadder
21. Brad Weber
22. Damian McKenzie
23. Rieko Ioane


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