All Blacks ring the changes for Italy

Date published: November 10 2016

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All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen has rung the changes to his starting XV for Saturday’s Test against Italy in Rome. 

Hansen has made 12 changes to the run-on side that lost to Ireland in Chicago last weekend, while new All Blacks Liam Coltman and Rieko Ioane have been named in a matchday 23 for the first time, and Sam Cane will captain the All Blacks for the second time.

Coltman has been named at replacement hooker, with Codie Taylor picked to start in the number two jersey, alongside experienced props Wyatt Crockett and Charlie Faumuina.

The replacement props for this Test match are Ofa Tu’ungafasi and Joe Moody. In the second row, Scott Barrett, who made his Test debut last weekend against Ireland, will start alongside Patrick Tuipulotu, with fellow lock Brodie Retallick returning to the All Blacks via the replacements bench.

In the loose forwards, Cane is at openside flanker, and will be alongside Elliot Dixon, who will play his third Test of the year, and Steven Luatua, who returns to the All Blacks in the number eight jersey.

In the backs, Tawera Kerr-Barlow will make his second start for the All Blacks, with Aaron Cruden at fly-half, in his 45th Test. Scrum-half Aaron Smith and Lima Sopoaga will provide inside backs cover from the replacements bench.

In the midfield, Anton Lienert-Brown is at inside centre in his seventh Test of the year, with Malakai Fekitoa in the number 13 jersey.

Waisake Naholo gets his second consecutive Test start, moving to the left wing, with Israel Dagg named on the right wing, and Damian McKenzie is at full-back in his first Test start, after coming off the bench in his Test debut against Argentina last month. Ioane will cover the outside backs from the bench.

New Zealand: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Israel Dagg, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 Waisake Naholo, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Steven Luatua, 7 Sam Cane (c), 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Wyatt Crockett
Replacements: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 19 Brodie Retallick, 20 Matt Todd, 21 Aaron Smith, 22 Lima Sopoaga, 23 Rieko Ioane

Date: Saturday, November 12
Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Kick-off: 15:00 local (14:00 GMT)
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Alex Ruiz (France), Dudley Phillips (Ireland)
TMO: Eric Gauzins (France)

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