New Zealand All Blacks Rugby News

Dagg returns as All Blacks change two for Wales




All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen has made two changes to the New Zealand team to play in the second Test against Wales this weekend in Wellington.

Hansen has brought Israel Dagg back into the starting side at fullback which pushes Ben Smith to the wing and as a result Julian Savea out of the match day 23.

Both Dagg and Smith will be earning their 50th caps in the match while in the forwards 73 Test lock Samuel Whitelock comes in as a replacement for Luke Romano.

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: “Our performance in the first Test was very pleasing in a number of ways, especially how we kept our composure under pressure. However, there is an expectation that we will need to improve right across the board, with better accuracy, in both our attack and defence, combined with more physicality and intensity.

“We are expecting Wales to come out all guns blazing, particularly after what happened in the Chiefs game, so we will have to not only meet that response, but go to a higher level ourselves.

“Also, on behalf of the team, we would like to congratulate Bender (Ben Smith) and Izzy (Israel Dagg) on reaching their 50th Tests. It’s a special achievement to play one Test, so to get 50 is a wonderful milestone.”

The All Blacks side to play the second Test of the Steinlager Series against Wales at a sold-out Westpac Stadium, Wellington, this Saturday 18 June, has been named.

New Zealand

1. Joe Moody, 2. Dane Coles , 3. Owen Franks, 4. Brodie Retallick , 5. Samuel Whitelock , 6. Jerome Kaino , 7. Sam Cane, 8. Kieran Read (c), 9. Aaron Smith , 10. Aaron Cruden , 11. Waisake Naholo, 12. Ryan Crotty , 13. Malakai Fekitoa , 14. Ben Smith , 15. Israel Dagg

Replacements : 16. Nathan Harris , 17. Wyatt Crockett , 18. Charlie Faumuina, 19. Patrick Tuipulotu , 20. Ardie Savea , 21. TJ Perenara , 22. Beauden Barrett , 23. Seta Tamanivalu

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