Laumape gets All Back call-up

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 17:29

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Ngani Laumape has been called up to the New Zealand team for the second Test against the British and Irish Lion.

The matchday squad for Saturday's encounter in Wellington shows two expected changes through injury.

Wing Waisake Naholo has been named on the right wing, with Israel Dagg moving to fullback - in place of Ben Smith, who suffered concussion in the first Test.

Anton Lienert-Brown comes in at centre,  for Ryan Crotty who damaged a hamstring - with Laumape being rewarded for his standout performance for the Hurricanes this past Tuesday.

"Whilst it's disappointing to lose both Ben Smith and Ryan Crotty, it creates an opportunity for others," All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said.

"Izzy [Dagg] is a world-class back three player, as is Anton in the midfield, and both Waisake and Ngani are coming into the Test side following outstanding performances against the Lions for their respective Super Rugby franchises.

"Whilst we were happy with the win last weekend, we know that it was just a start, in what is a three-Test Series.

"That means the job is far from done. It's going to require us to take our game to a higher level. It's going to be very demanding, physically and mentally, on both sides.

"We're aware the British and Irish Lions have their backs to the wall and will chuck everything at us to keep themselves alive in the series.

"They are a quality side who we respect immensely.

"In reality, last week's Test could've gone either way had they taken more of their chances.

"Our job will be to make sure that we shut down their counter-attack better than we did last weekend and at the same time, win the critical moments across the 80 minutes.

"As always, it'll start with the battle of the tight five.

"We've worked hard throughout the week in our preparation here in Wellington and are now looking forward to Saturday."

Loose forward Jerome Kaino will play his 80th Test match on Saturday.          

New Zealand: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 Nathan Harris, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Scott Barrett, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Aaron Cruden, 23 Ngani Laumape.

Date: Saturday, July 1
Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Kick-off: 19.35 (08.35 UK time; 07.35 GMT)
Referee: Jérôme Garcès (France)
Assistant referees: Romain Poite (France), Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)