Recommended NZ | Guide to Money | Gimme: Competitions - Giveaways

All Blacks team named for Auckland Test against South Africa

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The All Blacks team has been named to play the Investec Championship - Freedom Cup match against South Africa at QBE Stadium, Auckland, on Saturday 16 September 2017.

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

1. Kane Hames (2)

2. Dane Coles (51)

3. Nepo Laulala (6)

4. Brodie Retallick (67)

5. Samuel Whitelock (90)

6. Liam Squire (10)

7. Sam Cane (47)

8. Kieran Read (103) - Captain

9. Aaron Smith (64)

10. Beauden Barrett (56)

11. Rieko Ioane (6)

12. Sonny Bill Williams (39)

13. Ryan Crotty (29)

14. Nehe Milner-Skudder (9)

15. Damian McKenzie (5)

16. Codie Taylor (22)

17. Wyatt Crockett (64)

18. Ofa Tu'ungafasi (7)

19. Scott Barrett (10)

20. Ardie Savea (19)

21. TJ Perenara (36)

22. Lima Sopoaga (10)

23. Anton Lienert-Brown (16)

In the forwards, prop Kane Hames gets his first start in his third Test, in for the injured Joe Moody, while Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock are reunited in the second row. Liam Squire has been named at six, with Sam Cane back at seven. Ardie Savea is loose forward cover. In the backs, Aaron Smith returns to the 23 for his 65th Test with TJ Perenara on the bench, Ryan Crotty is back at centre, with Anton Lienert-Brown in the reserves, and Rieko Ioane is back on the left wing.

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: "Our big focus this week has been about continual improvement, growing ourselves as a team, growing our game and how we want to play it, and how we want to play against different opposition. Sunday to Friday gives us the opportunity to look at ourselves individually and collectively and get better as a team. We need the games we are getting at the moment, we've had a bit of adversity, and that will only make us better."

Hansen said South Africa would be a dangerous beast this weekend.

"They scrummage well, they attack well with the ball and their defence is getting better. So that's basically the game. We know they're a tough opponent - they're always a tough opponent. There's a long-standing history and rivalry between our two teams. We enjoy playing them, they play hard and it's always competitive. But afterwards they're always keen to catch up for a chat and a beer."

All articles and comments on have been submitted by our community of users. Please notify us through our contact form if you believe an item on this site breaches our community guidelines.