Crotty back in black

Wed, 07 Sep 2016 18:29
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TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The return of Ryan Crotty is one of three changes to the New Zealand side for their Round Three Rugby Championship encounter with Argentina on Saturday.

Crotty returns at inside centre, with Anton Lienert-Brown moving to the replacement bench.

That is the only change to the starting XV from the side that secured the Bledisloe Cup with a win over Australia in Wellington 12 days ago.

Codie Taylor is named as a replacement hooker and Luke Romano comes onto the bench as lock cover.

"In selecting this team, we felt there was the need for consistency," All Black coach Steve Hansen said.

"The squad is five games into re-establishing themselves on the international stage and we felt that it would not be right to make a lot of changes.

"We know we'll be facing a completely different challenge this week.  

"Argentina will bring their traditional physicality up front and flair in the backs and we will have to be ready for whatever they throw at us.

"They have shown in their time in the Rugby Championship, and especially in their two recent Tests against South Africa, that they are a very good side and will bring their own unique challenges.

"We have worked hard during the early part of the week on getting reconnected as a group, getting the understanding of our roles cemented, and getting our mental attitude right.

"We'll need to be right on top of our game, both mentally and physically, and play the game with real accuracy if we are to prevail on Saturday."
New Zealand: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Israel Dagg, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Aaron Cruden, 23 Anton Lienert-Brown.

Date: Saturday, September 10
Venue: Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
Kick-off: 19.35 (04.35 Argentina time; 07.35 GMT)
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Angus Gardner (Australia), Marius Mitrea (Italy)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)

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Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand 6 6 0 0 30
Australia 6 3 0 3 14
South Africa 6 2 0 4 10
Argentina 6 1 0 5 5