All Blacks unchanged for second Test

Date published: June 13 2018

New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen has named an unchanged matchday 23 for their second Test against France at Westpac Stadium on Saturday.

After winning the first Test 51-11 in Auckland, it’s unsurprising that the All Blacks are rolling out the same squad for this weekend’s game.

In explaining the unchanged selection for Wellington, Hansen said: “As we have a big focus right now on developing our game and working on our skillsets, connections and combinations, it isn’t beneficial to be making wholesale changes, if any at all, to the playing 23.

“Whilst we were really happy with the way we finished last weekend’s Test, we’re fully aware that we still have a lot of work to do over the rest of the Steinlager Series.

“The French would’ve taken a lot of confidence out of their first 50 minutes on the weekend and will be coming to play on Saturday night. Therefore, it will require us to raise our game to an even higher level.

“Rather than being inhibited by this, we’ll be embracing and walking towards the challenge. We’ll be looking to play our own high-energy game with real intent.

“When it comes to our performance, we know there are high expectations from our fans. This, in turn, demands that we drive our own expectations even higher.”

Hansen said the All Blacks were excited to be playing another Test match in the capital.

“The team loves the Test match atmosphere in Wellington and we’re looking forward to Saturday night. On behalf of the team I want to thank all our fans for their ongoing support,” he added.

New Zealand: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Squire, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Sam Whitelock (c), 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody
Replacements: 16 Nathan Harris, 17 Karl Tu’inukuafe, 18 Ofa Tuungafasi, 19 Vaea Fifita, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Damian McKenzie, 23 Ngani Laumape

Date: Saturday, June 16
Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Kick-off: 19:35 local (08:35 BST, 07:35 GMT)
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: John Lacey (Ireland), Luke Pearce (England)
Television match official: George Ayoub (Australia)

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