All Blacks tweak matchday squad for second Ireland Test
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The All Blacks have made an enforced change to their starting team to face Ireland in the second Test at Dunedin on Saturday, bringing in Dalton Papalii to the back row and moving Scott Barrett to lock.
Blues captain Papalii will start at blindside flank, with Barrett moving to his more familiar second-row role in place of veteran Sam Whitelock, who was omitted after suffering delayed symptoms of concussion during last week’s 42-19 first Test win.
Coach Ian Foster has altered half his bench, bringing in the uncapped pair of scrumhalf Folau Fakatava and prop Aidan Ross.
Will Jordan covers the outside backs after missing the first Test with Covid.
Lock Patrick Tuipulotu was included among the reserves, having been recalled to the squad following a stint in Japan after Whitelock’s diagnosis and a positive Covid test for fellow lock Tupou Vaa’i.
Tonga-born Fakatava, who is the back-up to starting scrumhalf Aaron Smith at the Highlanders, became eligible for the All Blacks earlier this year.
Foster said he anticipated a fierce response from Ireland.
“While I was delighted at how we performed and the leadership shown in the first Test match, we will need to really lift and improve in some key areas,” he said.
“We know the Irish will throw everything at us this week to keep the series alive.
“We’ve again had challenges this week, but we feel this team has laid a foundation to build on and is desperate to improve against a very determined Irish side.”
New Zealand: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 Quinn Tupeaa, 11 Leicester Fainga’anuku, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Sam Cane (captain), 6 Dalton Papalii, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Ofa Tuungafasi, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 George Bower.
Replacements: 16 Samisoni Taukeiaho, 17 Aidan Ross, 18 Angus Ta’avao, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Pita Gus Sowakula, 21 Folau Fakatava, 22 Richie Mo’unga, 23 Will Jordan.
Date: Saturday, July 9
Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Kick-off: 19.05 (08.05 UK & Ireland time; 07.05 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Karl Dickson (England), Jordan Way (Australia)
TMO: Tom Foley (England)