Topic: Rereātea - Midday News

All Blacks named for Bledisloe Cup match against Australia

By Regan Paranihi
  • Australia

The All Blacks team that will play Australia in the opening match of the Bledisloe Cup on Saturday 18 August at the ANZ Stadium in Sydney has been named.

All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen says they are excited to get the competition underway and no doubt it will be another classic Bledisloe Cup encounter with Australia.

"The Bledisloe means a lot to this team and we have the opportunity to show just how much on Saturday night.  As far as we're concerned, neither team currently has possession of the Cup and if we want it, we've got to front up and take it."

Hansen also congratulates Sam Whitelock as Saturday’s encounter with Australia will mark his 100 test match with the All Blacks.

“On behalf of the team, we want to congratulate Sammy on what will be a very special night for him and his family.  We're all very proud of him.  He's been an outstanding contributor to this team for a long time, both on and off the field.  To play one test for the All Blacks is an achievement in itself, but to be good enough to be selected and play 100 Tests is a remarkable feat.  In doing so, he will join what is a small group of very special All Blacks."

He adds, "It's also great to have Brodie and Kieran back after their lengthy absences.  They both bring special qualities to the team and we look forward to seeing them produce that again in the black jersey."

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

1. Joe Moody (34)

2. Codie Taylor (32)

3. Owen Franks (98)

4. Brodie Retallick (68)

5. Samuel Whitelock (99)

6. Liam Squire (17)

7. Sam Cane (55)

8. Kieran Read - captain (109)

9. Aaron Smith (74)

10. Beauden Barrett (64)

11. Rieko Ioane (16)

12. Ryan Crotty (37)

13. Jack Goodhue (1)

14. Waisake Naholo (19)

15. Ben Smith (67)

16. Nathan Harris (13)

17. Karl Tu'inukuafe (3)

18. Ofa Tuungafasi (17)

19. Scott Barrett (19)

20. Ardie Savea (25)

21. TJ Perenara (45)

22. Damian McKenzie (15)

23. Anton Lienert-Brown (24)