PREVIEW: All Blacks v Argentina First Test (Gold Coast)

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Match details: All Blacks v Argentina, Sunday 12 September, 7.05pm NZT (5.05pm local), CBUS Super Stadium, Gold Coast


Played: 31

Won: All Blacks 29, Argentina 1, Drawn 1

Last time: All Blacks 38, Argentina 0 (28 November 2020)

Referee: Nic Berry




30-year-old lock Brodie Retallick will become the All Blacks 71st Test captain when he leads the team out at Cbus Stadium on Sunday. All Blacks coach Ian Foster said he was delighted to name Retallick as the captain for this Test. “Brodie is a great leader in this team and we don’t take his leadership for granted.  We think this is a great honour for him, and he and his family can be hugely proud.  He's playing really well and leads from the front. He has come back into the black jersey this year and just picked up where he left off,” Foster said.


One of the highlights of the All Blacks season so far has been the developing midfield combination between David Havili and Anton Lienert-Brown. The pair have instantly gelled on attack and defence and earned comparisons to great All Blacks midfield combinations of the past like Walter Little and Frank Bunce and Conrad Smith and Ma’a Nonu. Havili has been particularly potent with ball in hand, scoring six tries. Only Ma’a Nonu with seven has scored more tries for the All Blacks in a single season at second five-eighth. Havili said he is keen to make the most of his opportunity to start for the All Blacks. “I'm happy with where we're at, but there's a lot to work on for what is coming in the weeks ahead," Havili said.



Although the All Blacks and South Africa have secured two wins each so far in the Fortinet Rugby Championship, the All Blacks sit on top of the ladder courtesy of two try-scoring bonus points, compared to just one by South Africa. While securing a victory over the Pumas on Sunday will be foremost in the minds of the All Blacks, doing so with a try-scoring bonus point (achieved when scoring three or more tries than your opposition) will ensure they keep a lead over South Africa on the points table – and could prove crucial in determining who lifts the trophy at the conclusion of the tournament.


Argentina have made seven changes to the side that went down 29-10 to the Springboks last month with the biggest coming in the 10 jersey. Veteran playmaker Nicolas Sanchez returns to the starting line-up in what will be a record 90th Test for the Pumas. 32-year-old Sanchez is the all-time leading point scorer for Argentina against the All Blacks with 151 points. Second on the list is the legendary Hugo Porta with 44 points scored against the All Blacks. 



The All Blacks have scored 52 tries in six games this year at an average of 8.7 tries per game. Next on the list is Wales with 33 tries from eight Tests, then England with 29 tries from seven Tests.




All Blacks (caps in brackets):


1. Karl Tu’inukuafe (20) 2.  Asafo Aumua (2) 3.  Nepo Laulala (34) 4.  Brodie Retallick – captain (86) 5.  Scott Barrett (44) 6.  Akira Ioane (7) 7.  Dalton Papalii (8) 8.  Luke Jacobson (7) 9.  TJ Perenara (71) 10. Beauden Barrett (94) 11. George Bridge (13) 12. David Havili (8) 13. Rieko Ioane (40) 14. Sevu Reece (12) 15. Jordie Barrett (28)


RESERVES: 16. Samisoni Taukei’aho (4) 17. Joe Moody (50) 18. Tyrel Lomax (8) 19. Tupou Vaa’i (5) 20. Ethan Blackadder (3) 21. Brad Weber (11) 22. Damian McKenzie (33) 23. Quinn Tupaea (1)




1: Facundo Gigena 2: Julian Montoya (C) 3: Santiago Medrano 4: Guido Petti 5: Matias Alemanno 6: Pablo Matera 7: Marcos Kremer 8: Rodrigo Bruni 9: Gonzalo Bertranou 10: Nicolas Sanchez 11: Santiago Cordero 12: Jeronimo De La Fuente 13: Matais Moroni 14: Bautista Delguy 15: Juan Cruz Mallia


RESERVES:  16: Facundo Bosch, 17: Carlos Muzzio 18: Enrique Pieretto 19: Tomas Lavanini 20: Juan Martin Gonzalez Samso 21: Gonzalo Garcia 22: Santiago Chocobares, 23: Emiliano Boffelli


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