Planet Rugby

Dagg and Barrett in for All Blacks

03rd September 2014 18:32

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Israel Dagg All Blacks training RC 2014

Back in the side: Israel Dagg

Israel Dagg makes his return to the All Blacks after getting the nod over Cory Jane for this weekend's Rugby Championship clash with Argentina.

Dagg will line up at full-back in one of three changes from the side that hammered Australia last time out.

Beauden Barrett comes in for the injured Aaron Cruden at fly-half, while a fit-again Ma'a Nonu takes his place at inside centre at the expense of Ryan Crotty, who is injured.

But it is Dagg whose inclusion is the biggest surprise, having been dropped for the two Bledisloe Cup matches.

In Napier he comes in for Jane, with Ben Smith shifting across to the wing to accommodate him and Steve Hansen admitted the Crusaders star deserved his chance.

"The selectors felt this was the right time to give Israel an opportunity,'' Hansen said.

''We also want to make it clear that his selection is not a reflection on Cory Jane's play, as we have been very happy with his performances.''

Nonu's return to the side was expected once he had recovered from shoulder injury, and Barrett will also get his chance in the fly-half jersey although it may just be temporary with Cruden expected to be fit to take on the Springboks in Wellington next week.

''Aaron could have played but the selectors weren't prepared to take the risk of him re-injuring himself and being out for a long period,'' Hansen said.

Up front it's the same pack that dominated the Wallabies, with Liam Messam again getting the nod at blindside and Wyatt Crockett continuing at loosehead.

Hansen has however freshened up the bench with Jeremy Thrush and Joe Moody included, along with Colin Slade as fly-half cover.

New Zealand: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (c), 6 Liam Messam, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Joe Moody, 19 Jeremy Thrush, 20 Sam Cane, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Colin Slade, 23 Malakai Fekitoa.

Date: Saturday, September 6
Kick-off: 19:35 local (08:35 BST, 07:35 GMT)
Venue: Mclean Park, Napier
Referee: Pascal Gauzère (France)
Assistant referees: Jérôme Garcès (France), Rohan Hoffmann (Australia)
Television match official: Peter Marshall (Australia)
Assessor: Lyndon Bray

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