McKenzie set for NZ debut

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 06:48
Large damian mckenzie 800

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: New Zealand coach Steve Hansen has shaken up the All Blacks for the Rugby Championship Test against Argentina on Saturday as he looks to blood young talent.

With the title already wrapped up, Hansen named an experimental side featuring four changes to the starting XV and another five on the bench.

The World Cup-winning coach said he wanted to give his young players experience and increase the squad's depth.

"At some point we've got to play these people and trust them. We think they're ready," he said.

Liam Squire gets his first Test start at blindside flank after earning three caps from the bench, replacing the injured Jerome Kaino.

Lock Patrick Tuipulotu comes on for Sam Whitelock, who goes onto the bench, while centre Malakai Fekitoa has been dropped from the matchday squad entirely in favour of Anton Lienert-Brown.

TJ Perenara's strong form helping the Hurricanes to the Super Rugby title has finally been rewarded with a start at scrumhalf in place of Aaron Smith.

The most notable inclusion on the bench is dynamic Chiefs fullback Damian McKenzie, who is set to make his international debut if Beauden Barrett is given a breather late in the match.

New Zealand: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Israel Dagg, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Liam Squire, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 19 Sam Whitelock, 20 Elliot Dixon, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Lima Sopoaga, 23 Damian McKenzie.

Date: Saturday, October 1
Venue: Velez Sarsfield, Buenos Aires
Kick-off: 19.10 (22.10 GMT; 11.10 NZST Sunday, October 2)
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Angus Gardner (Australia), Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)
TMO: Johan Greeff (South Africa)

Agence France-Presse

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 24 November 2017
Cheetahs v Edinburgh 17h30 Bloemfontein
Ulster v Treviso 19h05 Kingspan Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Connacht 19h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Leinster v Dragons 19h35 RDS Stadium
Newcastle Falcons v Gloucester 19h45 Kingston Park
Sat, 25 November 2017
Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors 12h45 Welford Road
Bath v Harlequins 12h45 Recreation Ground
Italy v South Africa 13h00 Rome
Scotland v Australia 14h30 Edinburgh
England v Samoa 15h00 Twickenham
Wales v New Zealand 17h15 Cardiff
Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints 17h30 AJ Bell Stadium
Ireland v Argentina 17h30 Aviva Stadium
France v Japan 19h00 Paris
Sun, 26 November 2017
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Liberty Stadium
Kings v Scarlets 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Zebre v Munster 13h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Saracens v Exeter Chiefs 15h00 Allianz Park
London Irish v Wasps 15h00 Madejski Stadium
RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand 6 6 0 0 28
Australia 6 2 2 2 15
South Africa 6 2 2 1 14
Argentina 6 0 0 6 0