All Blacks side to play Ireland on Saturday named

The All Blacks team has been named to face world number two ranked Ireland at Aviva Stadium, Dublin, on Saturday 17 November (Kick-off: 7.00PM Ireland time)

The matchday 23 is as follows (with Test caps in brackets):

1. Karl Tu’inukuafe (11)
2. Codie Taylor (40)
3. Owen Franks (105)
4. Brodie Retallick (73)
5. Samuel Whitelock (107)
6. Liam Squire (22)
7. Ardie Savea (33)
8. Kieran Read – captain (116)
9. Aaron Smith (81)
10. Beauden Barrett (71)
11. Rieko Ioane (22)
12. Ryan Crotty (43)
13. Jack Goodhue (6)
14. Ben Smith (75)
15. Damian McKenzie (21)

16. Dane Coles (58)
17. Ofa Tuungafasi (24)
18. Nepo Laulala (15)
19. Scott Barrett (27)
20. Matt Todd (16)
21. TJ Perenara (53)
22. Richie Mo’unga (6)
23. Anton Lienert-Brown (31)

The matchday 23 features just the one change from the team which beat England last weekend: Ryan Crotty comes in for the injured Sonny Bill Williams, with Anton Lienert-Brown coming into the run on reserves in the 23 jersey.

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: “This will be another great challenge for our squad and one that we’re all really looking forward to. These are the types of Test matches that gets everyone up — it’s number one versus number two — and there’s a real excitement that’s building as we get closer to Saturday.

“The earlier part of our week has been about getting our processes and clarity right, focussing on our core roles and the execution of our skills and then going out and training well.

“On Saturday we’ll be playing an opponent who will want to keep the ball for long periods of time, and if they aren’t getting what they want, then they’ll kick and try to pressure us.

“For us, we’ll need to be strong at set piece, both on our ball and theirs, and be prepared to work hard with or without the ball. When the momentum comes our way, we’ll need to take the opportunities that will come, as the team that makes the most of their opportunities will win the game.”
Steve Hansen added: “As always, we’ve been given a warm welcome by the Irish public and we look forward to playing our part in what will be a wonderful game at one of the great rugby stadiums.”

Meanwhile, it will be a significant match for three All Blacks.

Aaron Smith will play his 82nd Test match and become the most capped All Blacks halfback in history, overtaking Justin Marshall, while Brodie Retallick and Samuel Whitelock will set a new record for an All Blacks starting lock partnership, starting in their 50th Test together.

“On behalf of the All Blacks, we want to congratulate Aaron, Brodie and Sam on their achievements,” Hansen said.

Key facts – All Blacks vs Ireland

• The All Blacks and Ireland have played each other 30 times, with 28 wins to the All Blacks, one to Ireland and one draw. The last match was in Dublin in November 2016, which the All Blacks won 21-9.
• All Blacks Captain Kieran Read celebrated 100 Test wins last weekend – he’s the fourth player in history to record 100 Test match wins, behind Richie McCaw (131), Keven Mealamu (114) and Tony Woodcock (102).

• Beauden Barrett has become the first player to score 100 international points this year. He is on 106 points, with South African Handre Pollard on 100 and England’s Owen Farrell on 91.

Squad of 31 ushers in new era of Springbok rugby

Allister Coetzee has named a new-look Springbok squad, including nine uncapped players, for the Castle Lager Incoming Series against Ireland, featuring three Tests in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth.

The uncapped players who have forced their way into the Springbok squad are Garth April (flyhalf), Ruan Combrinck (wing), Faf de Klerk (scrumhalf), Nic Groom (scrumhalf), Steven Kitshoff (prop), Jaco Kriel (flank), Bongi Mbonambi (hooker), Sikhumbuzo Notshe (flank) and Scarra Ntubeni (hooker).

Coetzee picked 17 forwards and 14 backs to report for duty on Sunday afternoon for the start of a two week-long preparation camp in Stellenbosch and Cape Town. The squad will gather in Stellenbosch for the first week, before they break for two days and then reassemble on Sunday 5 June in Cape Town.

Coetzee said he was excited and looking forward to start working with his squad.

“The announcement of the squad, while hugely challenging, is a highlight of my career and a result of a lot of hard work and a huge amount of planning since my appointment,” said Coetzee.

“The selection of this squad was based on rewarding form and exposing young and upcoming local players to the Springboks, which is why priority was given to locally based players. We have many experienced players still available for selection, but we just felt that the time was right to look at the next generation.

“Our depth was obviously tested in certain positions, but this also created opportunities for new players, who have found their feet at Vodacom Super Rugby level, and to make the step up to the Springboks.

“I was appointed to win Test matches and I believe we have picked the best possible, available squad to do that. During my recent visits to the various franchises, I witnessed an unbelievable desire and passion from our players to play for South Africa, which was really heartening.

“We will now start with our preparations in earnest in Stellenbosch so that we can be ready for Ireland in Cape Town in two weeks’ time.”

Coetzee did not name a team captain and said he wanted to work with the squad before making a decision in the week of the first Test.

“We have a number of captaincy candidates to consider and I will announce the name of the captain when we name the team to face Ireland in Cape Town in a few days’ time,” said the Bok coach.

Several players were not available for selection for the Springbok or SA ‘A’ squads because of injuries or Springbok Sevens commitments. They are JC Janse van Rensburg, Sti Sithole, Marcell Coetzee, CJ Velleman, Chris Cloete, Schalk Burger, Thembelani Bholi, Cobus Reinach, Jano Vermaak, Elgar Watts, Robert du Preez, Kurt Coleman, Handré Pollard, Harold Vorster, Cornal Hendricks, Andries Coetzee, Dillyn Leyds, Jaco van der Walt (all injuries or illness), as well as Francois Hougaard, Bryan Habana, Juan de Jongh, Seabelo Senatla, Cheslin Kolbe, Warrick Gelant and Siviwe Soyizwapi (all Springbok Sevens).

Furthermore, experienced scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar informed Coetzee that he is not available for selection for the June Tests.

“We were considering all the players on this list carefully but they are unfortunately not available. We’ve also had good discussions with Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell and I support them fully in their preparations for the Olympic Games in August even though some of those players were real contenders for inclusion in the Springbok squad,” said Coetzee.

Coetzee added that that four players not included in the Springboks’ match-23 for the first two Tests, will be released to the SA ‘A’ squad for their matches against the England Saxons.

The three Tests between the Springboks and Ireland will take place on 11 June at DHL Newlands in Cape Town, on 18 June at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg and on 25 June at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.

The Springbok squad for the Castle Lager Incoming Series (alphabetical order):

Name Position Franchise/Club Test Caps
1 Garth April Flyhalf Cell C Sharks 0
2 Ruan Combrinck Wing Emirates Lions 0
3 Damian de Allende Centre DHL Stormers 13
4 Lood de Jager Lock Toyota Cheetahs 19
5 Faf de Klerk Scrumhalf Emirates Lions 0
6 Pieter-Steph du Toit Lock DHL Stormers 8
7 Eben Etzebeth Lock DHL Stormers 44
8 Nic Groom Scrumhalf DHL Stormers 0
9 Elton Jantjies Flyhalf Emirates Lions 2
10 Steven Kitshoff Prop Bordeaux (France) 0
11 Siya Kolisi Flank DHL Stormers 13
12 Jaco Kriel Flank Emirates Lions 0
13 Jesse Kriel Centre Vodacom Bulls 11
14 Patrick Lambie Flyhalf Cell C Sharks 50
15 Willie le Roux Fullback Cell C Sharks 34
16 Francois Louw Flank Bath (England) 43
17 Frans Malherbe Prop DHL Stormers 12
18 Lionel Mapoe Centre Emirates Lions 1
19 Bongi Mbonambi Hooker DHL Stormers 0
20 Tendai Mtawarira Prop Cell C Sharks 75
21 Lwazi Mvovo Wing Cell C Sharks 15
22 Sikhumbuzo Notshe Flank DHL Stormers 0
23 Scarra Ntubeni Hooker DHL Stormers 0
24 Trevor Nyakane Prop Vodacom Bulls 23
25 Rudy Paige Scrumhalf Vodacom Bulls 2
26 JP Pietersen Wing Cell C Sharks 66
27 Julian Redelinghuys Prop Emirates Lions 2
28 Jan Serfontein Centre Vodacom Bulls 26
29 Adriaan Strauss Hooker Vodacom Bulls 54
30 Duane Vermeulen No 8 Toulon (France) 35
31 Warren Whiteley No 8 Emirates Lions 3

Issued by SA Rugby Corporate Affairs

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