International Rugby

All Blacks change 11 for Italian clash

All Black coach Steve Hansen has made 11 changes to the side that lost to Ireland last weekend.

Damian McKenzie and Beauden Barrett however have still retained their spots as the All Blacks persist with two playmakers in the backline – Barrett at pivot and McKenzie at fullback.

While the All Blacks have struggle the past two weeks with a 26-15 win over England and then a 16-9 loss to Ireland, Hansen has backed his selection of the starting pair, with Richie Mo’unga on the bench.

“That’s the three guys that we see at the moment that would most likely go to the World Cup, so getting them combining, either at the beginning of the game or during the course of the game, is important.”

“We haven’t got too many games left so the more we play them together, the better it will be.”

In the forwards, Kieran Read and Ardie Savea are the only remaining players from the previous weekend, as the pack features a new look front row in Dane Coles, Nepo Laulala and Ofa Tu’ungafasi.

New Zealand

15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Jordie Barrett, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Waisake Naholo, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Ofa Tu’ungafasi

Substitutes: 16 Nathan Harris, 17 Karl Tu’inukuafe, 18 Angus Ta’avao, 19 Brodie Retallick, 20 Dalton Papali’i, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Richie Mo’unga, 23 Rieko Ioane




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