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Big guns return for All Blacks

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    Posted: 09-Nov-2017 at 8:30am

All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen has made wholesale changes to his starting line-up for Saturday's encounter with France in Saint-Denis.

Hansen has recalled most of his first-choice players and made nine alterations to his run-on side which claimed a 31-22 come-from-behind win over the Barbarians at Twickenham last weekend.

The matchday 23 features 11 players from the team which took on the Baa-baas. 

They've been complemented by a group of senior All Blacks returning to the starting XV, including captain Kieran Read, hooker Dane Coles, lock Sam Whitelock, scrum-half Aaron Smith and midfielders Sonny Bill Williams and Ryan Crotty.

Meanwhile, Vaea Fifita has been named at blindside flanker, Rieko Ioane is back on the left wing, after recovering from the mumps, and Damian McKenzie is at full-back. 

Wyatt Crockett and Matt Todd also return to the matchday 23 providing loosehead prop and loose forward cover respectively from the bench.

"This weekend is another opportunity for us to continue growing our standards, our game and our skill sets," Hansen said.

"If we can do that and put in a complete 80-minute game we'll go a long way to putting in a performance we can all be proud of.

"Having said that, France are an exciting team and playing France in Paris is one of the biggest challenges in rugby."

New Zealand: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano,  3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Kane Hames 
Replacements: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 19 Scott Barrett, 20 Matt Todd, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Lima Sopoaga, 23 Anton Lienert-Brown

Date: Saturday, November 11
Venue: Stade de France, Saint-Denis
Kick-off: 20:45 local (19:45 GMT)
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: Matthew Carley (England), Tom Foley (England)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Leeubok Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Nov-2017 at 9:55am
As daar nou 1 AB is wat gekies word op reputasie is dit SBW. Die AB's is so goed om selfs sterre terug clubs toe te stuur as hulle van vorm af is, maar met SBW is dit anders...
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