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All Blacks name Reece for World Cup opener

September 19, 2019 1:56 pm

Sevu Reece has been named to start on the wing for defending Rugby World Cup champions the All Blacks against the Springboks on Saturday.

The All Blacks front row includes Joe Moody, Dane Coles and Nepo Laulala.

Samuel Whitelock and Scott Barrett are the locks while Ardie Savea, Sam Cane and Kieran Read are the loose forwards.

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Aaron Smith and Richie Mo’unga form the halves combination with George Bridge, Ryan Crotty, Anton Lienert-Brown, Reece and Beauden Barrett making up the backline.

The All Blacks will meet South Africa at 9:45pm on Saturday.

The All Blacks team:

1.Joe Moody
2. Dane Coles
3. Nepo Laulala
4. Samuel Whitelock
5. Scott Barrett
6. Ardie Savea
7. Sam Cane
8. Kieran Read (capt.)
9. Aaron Smith
10. Richie Mo’unga
11. George Bridge
12. Ryan Crotty
13. Anton Lienert-Brown
14. Sevu Reece
15. Beauden Barrett

16. Codie Taylor
17. Ofa Tuungafasi
18. Angus Ta’avao
19. Patrick Tuipulotu
20.Shannon Frizell
21. TJ Perenara
22. Sonny Bill Williams
23. Ben Smith

*New Zealand has made five personnel changes to the starting line-up from the 92-7 win against Tonga. Dane Coles, Scott Barrett, Sam Cane, Aaron Smith, and Richie Mo’unga return to the starting XV
*While South Africa has selected 22 of the 23 who played in August’s 16-16 draw in the Rugby Championship the All Blacks have changed nine of the starting 15.
*New Zealand return 16 of the matchday 23 who featured against South Africa in August.
*Sam Whitelock and Sonny Bill Williams can become the eighth and ninth All Blacks to play 15 Rugby World Cup matches
*At an average age of 28 years and 72 days New Zealand have picked their youngest starting XV since the final of RWC 2011
*Kieran Read can move into second place for most wins as New Zealand’s captain, overtaking Sean Fitzpatrick, Read and Fitzpatrick both have 39 wins, Richie McCaw has 97.
* Read needs one try to equal the New Zealand record for most tries for a forward, held by McCaw on 27
*Whitelock, Read, and Williams are going for a third World Championship. Whitelock and Williams played in all 14 matches of New Zealand’s last two World Cup wins
*Richie Mo’unga will be only the second player called Richie to represent New Zealand at a World Cup
*Beauden Barrett starts at fullback for the fourth time this year. Prior to 2019 he last started there in 2013
*Half of New Zealand’s starting pack – Joe Moody, Dane Coles, Whitelock, and Read started the 2015 semi-final against South Africa. Only one back, Aaron Smith, returns to the starting XV for Saturday’s fixture.

[Source: World Rugby and NZRU]

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