New Zealand All Blacks Rugby News

All Blacks make two changes for British and Irish Lions




New Zealand All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen has named a team with two changes for the second Test against the British and Irish Lions at Westpac Stadium in Wellington on Saturday.

The All Blacks changes come as a result of injuries sustained in the first test match last weekend in Auckland to Ben Smith and Ryan Crotty/

Winger Waisake Naholo has been named on the right wing with Israel Dagg moving to fullback in place of Smith.

Anton Lienert-Brown comes in at centre for Crotty with new All Black Ngani Laumape being rewarded for his standout performance for the Hurricanes on Tuesday night, coming into the match day 23.

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: “Whilst it’s disappointing to lose both Ben Smith and Ryan Crotty, it creates an opportunity for others. ‘Izzy’ (Israel Dagg) is a world-class back three player, as is Anton in the midfield, and both Waisake and Ngani are coming into the Test side following outstanding performances against the Lions for their respective Super franchises.

“Whilst we were happy with the win last weekend, we know that it was just a start, in what is a three-Test Series. That means the job is far from done. It’s going to require us to take our game to a higher level. It’s going to be very demanding, physically and mentally, on both sides.

“We’re aware the British and Irish Lions have their backs to the wall and will chuck everything at us to keep themselves alive in the Series. They are a quality side who we respect immensely.

“In reality, last week’s Test could’ve gone either way had they taken more of their chances. Our job will be to make sure that we shut down their counter-attack better than we did last weekend and at the same time, win the critical moments across the 80 minutes. As always, it’ll start with the battle of the tight five.

“We’ve worked hard throughout the week in our preparation here in Wellington and are now looking forward to Saturday.”

New All Black Ngani Laumape is named on bench

New Zealand All Blacks

1. Joe Moody , 2. Codie Taylor , 3. Owen Franks , 4. Brodie Retallick , 5. Samuel Whitelock , 6. Jerome Kaino , 7. Sam Cane, 8. Kieran Read (c), 9. Aaron Smith , 10. Beauden Barrett , 11. Rieko Ioane, 12. Sonny Bill Williams , 13. Anton Lienert-Brown , 14. Waisake Naholo , 15. Israel Dagg

Replacements : 16. Nathan Harris , 17. Wyatt Crockett , 18. Charlie Faumuina , 19. Scott Barrett , 20. Ardie Savea , 21. TJ Perenara , 22. Aaron Cruden , 23. Ngani Laumape – new cap

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