All Blacks XV name team for historic first match against Ireland A


The matchday 23 is as follows (Province/Super Rugby Club): 

1: Aidan Ross (26, Bay of Plenty / Chiefs)
2: Brodie McAlister (25, Canterbury / Crusaders)
3: Tevita Mafileo (24, Bay of Plenty / Hurricanes)
4: Josh Dickson (27, Otago / Highlanders)
5: Patrick Tuipulotu – Captain (29, Auckland / Blues)
6: Dominic Gardiner (21, Canterbury / Crusaders)
7: Luke Jacobson (25, Waikato / Chiefs)
8: Marino Mikaele-Tu’u (24, Hawke’s Bay / Highlanders)
9: TJ Perenara - Vice-Captain (30, Wellington / Hurricanes)
10: Damian McKenzie (27, Waikato / Chiefs)
11: AJ Lam (24, Auckland / Blues)
12: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (29, Auckland / Blues)
13: Braydon Ennor (25, Canterbury / Crusaders)
14: Shaun Stevenson (25, North Harbour / Chiefs)
15: Ruben Love (21, Wellington / Hurricanes)

16: Tyrone Thompson (22, Hawke’s Bay / Chiefs)
17: Finlay Brewis (22, Canterbury / Crusaders)
18: Tamaiti Williams (22, Canterbury / Crusaders)
19: Zach Gallagher (21, Canterbury / Crusaders)
20: Christian Lio-Willie (24, Otago / Crusaders)
21: Cam Roigard (21, Counties Manukau / Hurricanes)
22: Josh Ioane (27, Otago / Chiefs)
23:  Alex Nankivell (26, Tasman / Chiefs)

All Blacks XV Head Coach Leon MacDonald has named a blend of experience and rising young talent to challenge Ireland A in the first of the two-match series, with a strong contingent of Crusaders and Chiefs players named to take the field.

The All Blacks XV starting front row features loosehead prop Aidan Ross, tighthead prop Tevita Mafileo and Brodie McAlister at Hooker. Tyrone Thompson, Finlay Brewis and Tamaiti Williams will provide impact off the bench.

Josh Dickson and Captain Patrick Tuipulotu make up the locking duo, with Dominic Gardiner, Marino Mikaele Tu’u and Luke Jacobson the loose forward trio. Crusaders players Zach Gallagher and Christian Lio-Willie on the bench.

In the backs, an experienced combination of TJ Perenara (Co-Captain) and Damian McKenzie will take the field at nine and ten. With young Hurricanes player, Cam Roigard on the bench. With an equally strong mid-field, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Braydon Ennor to start at 12 and 13.

The back three is made up of AJ Lam on the left wing, Shaun Stevenson on the right and Ruben Love starting at fullback. Josh Ioane and Alex Nankivell named to be injected off the bench.

All Blacks XV Head Coach Leon MacDonald said: “We are anticipating a huge challenge from Ireland A on Friday. They are a top tier, physical team with strong attack and defence, as we saw earlier this year against the Māori All Blacks.”

MacDonald excited for Tuipulotu and Perenara to Captain and Vice-Captain the All Blacks XV, is expecting their experience as leaders to be an asset across the team.

“With a short lead in to this first match, we’ve balanced out experience with younger rising talent. The players are all out to showcase their immense skills and strength as a team, they’re excited to get this opportunity to play on an international scale and to represent New Zealand in what will be a proud moment for players and their whanau,” said MacDonald.


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