The All Blacks team to play Argentina in The Rugby Championship match in La Plata, Argentina, this weekend has been named.
The Test against Argentina is at Estadio Ciudad de La Plata on Saturday 27 September.
The forward pack features the return from injury of lock Samuel Whitelock and blindside flanker Jerome Kaino. With Dane Coles returning to New Zealand to be with his partner for the birth of their baby, Keven Mealamu starts at hooker, with Nathan Harris set to make a possible Test debut from the bench.
In the backs, Malakai Fekitoa gets his third start in the All Blacks coming in for the injured Ma’a Nonu, and Beauden Barrett gets his second start in the number 10 jersey, after starting the Test against Argentina in Napier three weeks ago.
All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: “After a good week of preparation, we are really looking forward to, and excited by, the challenge that playing Argentina in Argentina brings.
16. Nathan Harris *
17. Joe Moody (3)
18. Ben Franks (35)
19. Jeremy Thrush (7)
20. Sam Cane (18)
21. TJ Perenara (7)
22. Colin Slade (12)
23. Cory Jane (51
“There is an expectation that we will have a quality performance full of excitement, energy, physicality and accuracy. To beat the Argentineans will require that of us, as they have been playing very well and have improved a lot since last year. With this being only their second home game in the Championship, there will be huge expectation on them to win.”
Hansen said he was looking forward to seeing Malakai Fekitoa playing at 12: “Though it’s disappointing having Ma’a injured, it is a great opportunity for the young man and one I’m sure he will take.”
Hansen added he was also looking forward to seeing Nathan Harris make his Test debut off the bench.
“Nathan has been developing very well. It’s well known that we don’t have a lot of depth in this position, but we feel that Nathan is ready and capable of doing a very good job.”
Finally, speaking on behalf of the entire All Blacks squad, Hansen also wished Dane Coles and his partner Sarah all the very best with the upcoming birth of their child.
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