Will Jordan shifted to full-back, three debutants named in All Blacks squad for Bledisloe II

Will Jordan for All Blacks against Wallabies. Credit: Alamy

Will Jordan for All Blacks against Wallabies. Credit: Alamy

All Blacks head coach Ian Foster has rung the changes to his matchday squad for their second Bledisloe Cup encounter against the Wallabies at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin on Saturday.

There are a massive 13 alterations to the starting line-up with the big news being Will Jordan’s switch from the right wing to full-back with Shaun Stevenson coming in to make his debut in the number 14 jersey while Samipeni Finau is also set to make his international debut on the blindside flank.

Meanwhile, utility back Dallas McLeod is also in line for a Test debut after being named on the replacements bench.

Sam Cane back from injury

Elsewhere, Sam Cane returns from injury to captain the side in the All Blacks’ final home Test of the season after he missed the first Bledisloe Cup clash which the All Blacks won 38-7 in Melbourne last week.

Front-row Fletcher Newell and utility back Leicester Fainga’anuku have also returned from injury to be named in the matchday squad for the first time this season.

Fainga’anuku has been named on the left wing alongside Stevenson and Jordan in an exciting back three.

After making his debut from the bench against the Springboks in the Round Two Rugby Championship Test at Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland, loosehead prop Tamaiti Williams will start alongside Samisoni Taukei’aho (hooker) and Nepo Laulala (tighthead) in the front-row.

Foster said his team are highly motivated to do well in their last match in front of their supporters on New Zealand soil ahead of their upcoming World Cup campaign in France.

“Despite having won both the Rugby Championship and the Bledisloe Cup last week, this Test is special for us as we finish this stage of our preparation for later in the year,” he said.

“It is our last chance to play in front of our fans and, even with some changes, it is a big opportunity for us to take another step forward as a team. We can’t wait.”

A sellout crowd in Dunedin will witness what will likely be the final match on home soil for several All Blacks including Aaron Smith, Brodie Retallick, Dane Coles, Nepo Laulala and Samuel Whitelock.

Retallick and Whitelock to extend world record

Pairing up for the first time this year, Retallick and Whitelock are set to extend their world record of 64 Tests as a starting second-row combination.

New Zealand: 15 Will Jordan, 14 Shaun Stevenson, 13 Braydon Ennor, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 Leicester Fainga’anuku, 10 Damian McKenzie, 9 Finlay Christie, 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Sam Cane (c), 6 Samipeni Finau, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 1 Tamaiti Williams

Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 18 Fletcher Newell, 19 Tupou Vaa’i, 20 Luke Jacobson, 21 Aaron Smith, 22 Richie Mo’unga, 23 Dallas McLeod

Date: Saturday, August 5

Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin

Kick-off: 14:35 local (03:35 BST, 02:35 GMT)

Referee: Karl Dickson (England)

Assistant Referees: Wayne Barnes (England), Christophe Ridley (England)

TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

READ MORE: Rugby Championship awards: Scott Barrett and All Blacks claim top gongs

The article Will Jordan shifted to full-back, three debutants named in All Blacks squad for Bledisloe II appeared first on Planetrugby.com.

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