Savea, Tamanivalu on bench to face Wales

Date published: June 8 2016

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Steve Hansen has named uncapped Ardie Savea and Seta Tamanivalu in his matchday squad that will face Wales in Auckland on Saturday. 

The All Blacks 23 features an experienced core of senior players and new talent, with 720 caps in the squad, and an average of 31 caps per player.

One other key feature of the squad is the naming of two new players, loose forward Savea and midfielder Tamanivalu, who could make their Test debuts should they come in off the bench.

“Whilst the opposition might believe that we’re vulnerable because it’s our first Test and we have lost some experienced players, we don’t have that mindset,” Hansen said.

“We have some very excited players who have trained well during the week and are getting the opportunity to make a statement about who they are and what the All Blacks jersey means to them,” he added.

“We’re well aware that this is a good Welsh team and not one that we’ll underestimate and we’re looking forward to the challenge that comes with playing Test match football, which involves high-pressure moments and huge physicality.

“On a personal note, we would also like to congratulate Alun Wyn Jones who looks set to play his 100th Test this weekend. It’s a fantastic achievement.”

New Zealand: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Luke Romano, 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 11
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Kick-off: 19:35 local (07:35 GMT)
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant Referees: Jaco Peyper (South Africa), Will Houston (Australia)

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