All Blacks named for third Steinlager series Test

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After becoming the second-most capped All Black of all time in the series opener at Eden Park, Samuel Whitelock (133 Test caps) returns from injury to join Brodie Retallick in what will be the pair’s 61st Test start together in the second row.

 

Whitelock’s return sees Scott Barrett return to blindside flanker in a forward pack also bolstered by the return of 40-Test tighthead prop Nepo Laulala, who is set to make his first appearance of the season along with Dane Coles (80) and Akira Ioane (13).

 

Second-five eighths David Havili has returned after Covid to take his place in the midfield alongside centre Rieko Ioane who is set to earn his 50th Test cap.

 

Winger Will Jordan has been elevated from the reserves, making way for Roger Tuivasa-Sheck who is in line to make his Test debut.

 

“It’s tough having a loss but the tough weeks are often the most exciting,” says Foster.

 

“A series decider against a high-quality side is a great occasion for our growth as a team.”

 

The All Blacks have played Ireland in Wellington just three times - twice at Athletic Park (1976, 1992) and once at Sky Stadium (2008).

 

All Blacks match day 23:

1. George Bower (13)
2. Codie Taylor (68)
3. Nepo Laulala (40)
4. Brodie Retallick (94)
5. Samuel Whitelock (133)
6. Scott Barrett (50)
7. Sam Cane © (79)
8. Ardie Savea (61)
9. Aaron Smith (104)
10. Beauden Barrett (103)
11. Sevu Reece (19)
12. David Havili (15)
13. Rieko Ioane (49)
14. Will Jordan (14)
15. Jordie Barrett (38)
16. Dane Coles (80)
17. Aidan Ross (1)
18. Ofa Tu’ungafasi (46)
19. Akira Ioane (13)
20. Dalton Papalii (14)
21. Folau Fakatava (1)
22. Richie Mo’unga (33)
23. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck *

(* denotes All Blacks debut)

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