Ardie Savea to captain All Blacks against Australia

Ardie Savea to captain All Blacks against Australia

By Alipate Narawa
Thursday 27/07/2023

Ardie Savea will lead the All Blacks side for the fifth time in his career against Australia at the MCG this weekend.

Regular skipper Sam Cane has been withdrawn due to a neck strain sustained in the win over South Africa in Auckland.

Dalton Papali’i will start at No.7 with Luke Jacobson coming into the match-day 23 as loose forward cover.

While the rest of the run-on side remains unchanged, further additions have been made to the reserves.

Experienced campaigners Anton Lienert-Brown and Samuel Whitelock are set to make their first appearances of the season.

Ofa Tu’ungafasi returns after playing the opening Test against Argentina and Cam Roigard is in line to make his Test debut as halfback cover.

All Blacks coach Ian Foster says this is a special Lipovitan-D Rugby Championship Test, which doubles as the opening Bledisloe Cup clash of the year.

Foster further says this trophy means so much to both countries and they expect a massive challenge at 9.45pm Saturday.

This weekend will mark the first All Blacks Test at the MCG since 2007 with over 80,000 fans expected, it is tipped to be the biggest Bledisloe Cup crowd since 2009 when 80,228 turned out to watch at Homebush.

All Blacks match-day 23 (Test caps in brackets) * debutant

1. Ethan de Groot

2. Codie Taylor

3. Tyrel Lomax

4. Brodie Retallick

5. Scott Barrett

6. Shannon Frizell

7. Dalton Papali’i

8. Ardie Savea

9. Aaron Smith

10. Richie Mo’unga

11. Mark Telea

12. Jordie Barrett

13. Rieko Ioane

14. Will Jordan

15. Beauden Barrett

16. Samisoni Taukei’aho

17. Ofa Tu’ungfasi

18. Nepo Laulala

19. Samuel Whitelock

20. Luke Jacobson

21. Cam Roigard *

22. Anton Lienert-Brown

23. Caleb Clarke

[Source: allblacks.com]

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