Steve Hansen has named his side to tackle Argentina at Wembley Stadium on Sunday. With 1200 tests in the starting XV the All Blacks head into the match as firm favourites.
The rapid rise of Nehe Milner-Skudder sees the star outside back take his place on the right wing, forming a lethal combination with Julian Savea and Ben Smith. Milner-Skudder will be pinching himself considering it was only February when he finally cracked the Hurricanes’ Super Rugby side.
Since then his fleet footedness has bamboozled defenders left, right and centre and eventually his form was too good for the All Blacks to resist. He has somewhat forced his way into the All Blacks’ arsenal as he can provide the X-factor to break the shackles of a tight World Cup tussle.
On the bench Charlie Faumuina returns from a lengthy layoff to complete his comeback. The selectors have also chosen to start Sam Cane and Victor Vito instead of having a lock replacement, which will see Jerome Kaino move there if required.
In the backs Beauden Barrett has been preferred over Colin Slade, while Sonny Bill Williams will have the first opportunity to show his skills sneaking in ahead of the in-form Malakai Fekitoa.
The All Blacks’ match day 23 vs Argentina is as follows:
1. Tony Woodcock 2. Dane Coles 3. Owen Franks 4. Brodie Rettalick 5. Sam Whitelock 6. Jerome Kaino 7. Richie McCaw (c) 8. Kieran Read 9. Aaron Smith 10. Daniel Carter 11. Julian Savea 12. Ma’a Nonu 13. Conrad Smith 14. Nehe Milner Skudder 15. Ben Smith
Reserves: 16. Kevin Mealamu 17. Wyatt Crockett 18. Charlie Faumuina 19. Victor Vito 20. Sam Cane 21. TJ Perenara 22. Beauden Barrett 23. Sonny Bill Williams
Simon van Ryn, Pundit Arena