Home Rugby Big Guns Return As All Blacks XV To Face France Is Named

Big Guns Return As All Blacks XV To Face France Is Named

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 07: Kieran Read and Sonny Bill Williams of New Zealand after the Rugby Championship 2017 match between South Africa and New Zealand at DHL Newlands on October 07, 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Grant Pitcher/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

New Zealand have named their starting fifteen to face France at the Stade de France on Saturday.

The game will be the All Blacks’ second match on their northern hemisphere tour, and comes hot on the heels of a somewhat awkward victory over Barbarians at Twickenham last week.

This weekend sees a number of senior players return for the next Test including Kieran Read, Ryan Crotty, Aaron Smith and Sonny Bill Williams.

In all, eleven of the 23 from last week’s matchday squad retain their places.

Hansen is expecting a tough match against an “unpredictable” France side, particularly for the six players in the squad that have yet to play against them:

“France are an exciting team and playing France in Paris is one of the biggest challenges in rugby. While most of our players know what to expect, six of the matchday 23 haven’t played the French before (Hames, Laulala, Tu’ungafasi, Fifita, Sopoaga and McKenzie) so it’ll be a new experience for them and an exciting challenge for the entire squad.”

The 2015 World Cup winners will take on a France XV in Lyon next weekend in their third game of the tour, before heading to Britain the following two weekends for tests against Scotland and Wales.

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