All Blacks change two for Wellington Test

Date published: June 15 2016

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The All Blacks matchday squad features just two changes from the team that played last weekend’s opening Test match. 

Ben Smith will be playing his 50th Test, from the left wing as he replaces Julian Savea in a side that sees the bench remains unchanged.

Israel Dagg has been named at full-back for what will also be his 50th Test match while lock Sam Whitelock returns to the side, replacing 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.”

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

Date: Saturday, June 18
Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Kick-off: 19:35 local (07:35 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant Referees: Jérôme Garcès (France), Wayne Barnes (England)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)

 

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