All Blacks name team for 3rd and final test against England on Sat

Malakai Fekitoa to make Test start; Kieran Read returns

The All Blacks team to play England in the third and final Test of the Steinlager Series at Waikato Stadium, Hamilton, this Saturday 21 June, has been named, with exciting midfielder Malakai Fekitoa to get his first Test start and Kieran Read returning to the All Blacks.

Fekitoa replaces the injured Conrad Smith at centre, while Read comes back into the side in his favoured number eight jersey for his first Test of the season, while Jerome Kaino moves to blindside flanker.

The team is (with caps in brackets):

Starting XV:

1. Tony Woodcock (109)
2. Dane Coles (17)
3. Owen Franks (56)
4. Brodie Retallick (26)
5. Samuel Whitelock (53)
6. Jerome Kaino (50)
7. Richie McCaw – captain (126)
8. Kieran Read (61)
9. Aaron Smith (28)
10. Aaron Cruden (31)
11. Julian Savea (21)
12. Ma’a Nonu (90)
13. Malakai Fekitoa (1)
14. Cory Jane (47)
15. Ben Smith (28)

Reserves:

16. Keven Mealamu (112)
17. Wyatt Crockett (26)
18. Charlie Faumuina (19)
19. Patrick Tuipulotu (1)
20. Liam Messam (31)
21. TJ Perenara (2)
22. Beauden Barrett (18)
23. Ryan Crotty (5)

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said while the Steinlager Series and the Hillary Shield had been won with New Zealand’s 27-28 second Test victory last weekend, as always, the All Blacks still had huge motivation to improve the quality of their performance.

“Whilst we felt we improved from the first Test to the second, there are areas of our game we want to improve on and that has been the focus for us this week.

“We enjoy playing in Hamilton and in front of a sold-out Waikato Stadium we are looking forward to producing a quality performance that we can all be proud of.”

Interesting facts

* Beauden Barrett holds the world record of 18 consecutive wins in his first 18 Test matches. Barrett is also set to play his 100th first-class game this weekend.
* Richie McCaw will captain the All Blacks for the 90th time this weekend and joins Sean Fitzpatrick on 128 games for the All Blacks, second equal behind Colin Meads’ 133.
* Julian Savea scored his 20th try last weekend. He is the 16th All Black to reach 20 tries. It was also his fifth try in three matches against England.
* The All Blacks and England have played each other 38 times with the All Blacks recording their 30th win last weekend. England have won seven Tests and there has been one draw.
* So far in Head Coach Steve Hansen’s tenure, the All Blacks have scored 968 points and conceded 474 points.

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About Martin Myers
Music Supervisor / Artist and Talent Manager / Publicist / Music Exchange Founder / Owner Triple M Entertainment

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