Match details: All Blacks v Scotland, Monday 14 November, 3.15am NZT (Sunday 13 November, 2.15pm GMT), Murrayfield, Edinburgh, Scotland.
Won: All Blacks 29, Drawn: 2
Last time: All Blacks 22, Scotland 17 (18 November 2017)
Referee: Frank Murphy (IRFU)
Assistant Referee 1: Andrew Brace (IRFU)
Assistant Referee 2: Chris Busby (IRFU)
TMO: Tom Foley (RFU)
RE-JIGGED ALL BLACKS
While 16 All Blacks have been retained from the match day 23 that played in last week’s win against Wales, some different combinations are set to be used against Scotland. Halfback Finlay Christie will wear the number nine jersey for the third time. Outside him at first-five eighths, Beauden Barrett will mark his 56th Test in the number 10 jersey. Midfielders David Havili and Anton Lienert-Brown will feature in the run-on side after being used in tandem as reserves during the last two Tests. Their inclusion sees Jordie Barrett revert to fullback. Mark Telea will make his debut on the right wing. In the forward pack, Samisoni Taukei’aho will start at hooker, Nepo Laulala at tighthead prop and Akira Ioane at blindside flanker. The new faces in the reserves are loosehead prop George Bower, halfback TJ Perenara and utility Stephen Perofeta.
SCOTLAND CALL IN EXPERIENCE
Scotland have made three changes to the side that took out Fiji 28-12 last week. Hooker Fraser Brown, first five-eighth Finn Russell, and centre Sione Tuipulotu all come into the starting side which features seven players who faced the All Blacks back in 2017. The biggest talking point is the inclusion of the dynamic Russell in place of injured playmaker Adam Hastings. Russell was a key performer in Scotland’s last clash against the All Blacks in 2017 and will connect with halfback Ali Price as they did in 2017.
UNFINISHED BUSINESS FOR SCOTLAND
Memories of the heartbreaking 22-17 loss to the All Blacks at Murrayfield in 2017 still loom large for Scotland and their coach Gregor Townsend. Scotland remains the only top-tier rugby nation never to have beaten the All Blacks since they first met on the 1905-06 tour. The closest Scotland has got is a 0-0 draw in 1964 and a 25-25 draw in 1983. In 2017 it took a brilliant cover tackle by Beauden Barrett to prevent Scotland from scoring a potential match-winning try with time up on the clock. When asked if there was unfinished business against New Zealand, Townsend said: "There is 100 years of unfinished business."
Winger Mark Telea has been selected to make his first Test appearance, four months after initially being called up as COVID cover during the Steinlager series. The 25-year-old was called in as injury cover for this campaign and is now in line to become All Black number 1207. Telea is coming off the back of a stellar season for North Harbour in the Bunnings NPC in 2022 where he was first in defenders beaten (68), third in most metres (1112), third in most carries (116) and fifth in clean breaks (13).
All Blacks coach Ian Foster said Scotland would be a rugged opponent on their home track. "They are robust at the breakdown and play with quite a bit of adventure to their game. They challenge you in different areas with some different types of plays that some other teams challenge you up here. In the last couple of years, they've shown they can get up and play very well in big games. I guess they're searching for consistency as well as a team but the upside is their top game is at a pretty high level," Ian Foster said.
MAKE YOUR PREDICTIONS
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TEAMS (Test caps in brackets):
1. Ethan de Groot (11) 2. Samisoni Taukei’aho (19) 3. Nepo Laulala (43) 4. Samuel Whitelock (141 - Captain) 5. Scott Barrett (56) 6. Akira Ioane (20) 7. Dalton Papali’i (20) 8. Ardie Savea (68) 9. Finlay Christie (13) 10. Beauden Barrett (110) 11. Caleb Clarke (13) 12. David Havili (23) 13. Anton Lienert-Brown (58) 14. Mark Telea (*) 15. Jordie Barrett (46)
Reserves: 16. Codie Taylor (74) 17. George Bower (20) 18. Fletcher Newell (5) 19. Tupou Vaa’i (17) 20. Shannon Frizell (23) 21. TJ Perenara (78) 22. Stephen Perofeta (2) 23. Rieko Ioane (57)
1. Pierre Schoeman (14) 2. Fraser Brown (55) 3. Zander Fagerson (52) 4. Richie Gray (68) 5. Grant Gilchrist (57) 6. Jamie Ritchie – Captain – (34) 7. Hamish Watson (53) 8. Matt Fagerson (26) 9. Ali Price (56) 10. Finn Russell (63) 11. Duhan van der Merwe (21) 12. Sione Tuipulotu (9) 13. Chris Harris (37) 14. Darcy Graham (31) 15. Stuart Hogg (94)
Reserves: 16. Ewan Ashman (5) 17. Rory Sutherland (21) 18. WP Nel (49) 19. Jonny Gray (70) 20. Jack Dempsey (2) 21. Ben White (7) 22. Blair Kinghorn (36) 23. Mark Bennett (28)