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Test Preview: All Blacks v Scotland

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Andy Burt     17 Nov 2017     Getty Images

Match details: All Blacks v Scotland, Sunday 19 November, 6.15am (NZT), Murrayfield, Edinburgh.

Matches played: 30
All Blacks won: 28
Scotland won: 0
Draw: 2
Last Match: All Blacks 24, Scotland 16 (November 15, 2014)
Largest All Blacks winning margin: 69-20 (2000)

SQUAD NEWS
The All Blacks have named a settled 23 with just two changes from the side that defeated France 39-18 in Paris last weekend. Codie Taylor comes in at hooker for the injured Dane Coles with Nathan Harris coming onto the bench. In the only other change, hard-running loose forward Liam Squire comes onto the bench in place of Liam Squire. Scotland have also made two changes to their side that beat Samoa 44-38 last week. Prop WP Nel and No.8 Ryan Wilson are out injured with Zander Ferguson and Cornell du Preez promoted from the bench.
THISTLE’S THREATS
Scotland have improved dramatically over recent seasons and will be the highest ranked team the All Blacks face on the Vista Northern Tour. A big part of their success has been their expansive game plan and fast-running backline. Stuart Hogg is regarded as one of the world’s best fullbacks and will be eager to show his class against the All Blacks after being injured out of the British & Irish Lions series earlier this year. Wing Tommy Seymour proved his try-scoring pedigree with three tries for the mid-week Lions in New Zealand and will be quick to punish the All Blacks defence if he is offered any opportunities. Scotland’s halfback-first five combination of Finn Russell and Ali Price are also highly regarded after an impressive 2017 6 Nations campaign.

ZINZAN BROOKE: ALL BLACKS MUST SHOW NO MERCY TO SCOTLAND

LAST TIME
Murrayfield is one of the world’s great rugby arenas and has been the graveyard of many a touring team over the decades. The All Blacks almost found this out the hard way in 2014. On that day, it took a 73rd minute try to lock Jeremy Thrush for the All Blacks to finally wrest the advantage from Scotland and pick up a hard fought 24-16 win. The All Blacks have six survivors in their team from that clash and will be well aware of the challenge that lies ahead at Murrayfield.
STAT CHAT
Beauden Barrett has scored 148 Test points this year - just four shy of his 152 points from last year. No All Blacks player has scored 150 points in consecutive years.

TEAMS (Test caps in brackets)
SCOTLAND:
15: Stuart Hogg 14: Tommy Seymour 13: Huw Jones 12: Alex Dunbar 11: Lee Jones 10: Finn Russell 9: Ali Price 8: Cornell du Preez 7: Hamish Watson 6: John Barclay (captain) 5: Jonny Gray 4: Ben Toolis 3: Zander Fargerson 2: Stuart McInally 1: Darryl Marfo.
Reserves: George Turner, Jamie Bhati, Simon Berghan, Grant Gilchrist, Luke Hamilton, Henry Pyrgos, Pete Horne, Byron McGuigan

New Zealand: 15. Damian McKenzie (10) 14. Waisake Naholo (16) 13. Ryan Crotty (33) 12. Sonny Bill Williams (44) 11. Rieko Ioane (11) 10. Beauden Barrett (60) 9. Aaron Smith (69) 8. Kieran Read - captain (108) 7. Sam Cane (51) 6. Vaea Fifita (4) 5. Samuel Whitelock (94) 4. Luke Romano (30) 3. Nepo Laulala (11) 2. Codie Taylor (26) 1. Kane Hames (7)
Reserves: 16. Nathan Harris (9) 17. Wyatt Crockett (69) 18. Ofa Tu'ungafasi (12) 19. Liam Squire (13) 20. Matt Todd (11) 21. TJ Perenara (40) 22. Lima Sopoaga (14) 23. Anton Lienert-Brown (20)