Hansen sticks to tried and tested
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The All Black selectors have named the team to play the second Test against France at Westpac Stadium, Wellington, on Saturday, June 16.
The matchday 23 is unchanged from the one that beat France 52-11 in the opening Test in Auckland last weekend in pursuit of consistency and perfection.
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) June 13, 2018
In explaining the unchanged selection, All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: “As we have a big focus right now on developing our game and working on our skillsets, connections and combinations, it isn’t beneficial to be making wholesale changes, if any at all, to the playing 23.
“Whilst we were really happy with the way we finished last weekend’s Test, we’re fully aware that we still have a lot of work to do over the rest of the Series.
“The French would’ve taken a lot of confidence out of their first 50 minutes on the weekend and will be coming to play on Saturday night. Therefore, it will require us to raise our game to an even higher level.
“Rather than being inhibited by this, we’ll be embracing and walking towards the challenge. We’ll be looking to play our own high-energy game with real intent. When it comes to our performance, we know there are high expectations from our fans. This, in turn, demands that we drive our own expectations even higher,”
Steve Hansen said the All Blacks were excited to be playing another Test match in the capital.
“The team loves the Test match atmosphere in Wellington and we’re looking forward to Saturday. On behalf of the team, I want to thank all our fans for their ongoing support,”
New Zealand: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Squire, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Samuel Whitelock (captain), 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 Nathan Harris, 17 Karl Tu’inukuafe, 18 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 19 Vaea Fifita, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 Thomas Perenara, 22 Damian McKenzie, 23 Ngani Laumape
Date: Saturday, June 16
Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Kick-off: 19.35 (07.35 GMT, 09.35 France time)
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: John Lacey (Ireland), Luke Pearce (England)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)