Topic: Rugby

Hansen names strong team for England clash

By Jamie Wall

The All Blacks welcome back Jack Goodhue and Dane Coles to their top XV this weekend, after the pair have made successful recoveries from illness and long-term injury respectively.

However, Karl Tu’inukuafe has been brought up into the starting team after a freak injury to prop Joe Moody at training on Tuesday.

Moody was poked in the eye by a teammate during a lineout drill, tearing his eyelid and requiring a visit to a plastic surgeon.  It will mean he is out of rugby for up to six weeks, effectively ending his season.

Aaron Smith gets the nod at halfback over TJ Perenara, who started the third Bledisloe Cup test in Tokyo a fortnight ago.

Damian McKenzie will start at fullback, and Hansen has said he will once again take on a dual playmaking role with Beauden Barrett.

“I think we’re blessed at first five,” he told media at a press conference at the All Blacks.

“We’ve got three world class five eighths, [Barrett, McKenzie and Richie Mo’unga], two of whom can play in two positions.”

As to the threat England poses, Hansen pointed out the differences in the two teams' styles of play.

“A lot of people can get caught up and think ‘oh, they kick it all the time, it’s negative rugby,’ but they don’t give you many opportunities to do things.  They pride themselves on that and they hang in there.”

England are coming off a tight 12-11 win over the Springboks last weekend at Twickenham.

The All Black team to play England, 4am Sunday morning NZT: 

15. Damian McKenzie, 14. Ben Smith, 13. Jack Goodhue, 12. Sonny Bill Williams, 11. Rieko Ioane, 10. Beauden Barrett, 9. Aaron Smith, 8. Kieran Read (c), 7. Ardie Savea, 6. Liam Squire, 5. Brodie Retallick, 4. Sam Whitelock, 3. Owen Franks, 2. Codie Taylor, 1. Karl Tu’inukuafe.

Bench: 16. Dane Coles, 17. Ofa Tuungafasi, 18. Nepo Laulala, 19. Scott Barrett, 20. Matt Todd, 21. TJ Perenara, 22. Richie Mo’unga, 23. Ryan Crotty .