All Blacks stick with SBW, Goodhue and McKenzie for long-awaited clash with England

The All Blacks have named their squad to face England in this weekend's much-anticipated Test at Twickenham with a tried-and-true backline being composed by Steve Hansen.

Hansen has named Sonny Bill Williams and Jack Goodhue at 12 and 13, respectively, while Damian McKenzie has been given fullback once again, with Ben Smith and Rieko Ioane joining him on the wings.

Steve Hansen said having the dynamic duo on the field at Twickenham will give their side plenty of options on attack. Source: 1 NEWS

Aaron Smith and Beauden Barrett complete the backline.

Hansen told media today they went with McKenzie, who has played much of this season at first-five, in the No.15 jersey so they could have "two playmakers" on the field.

"We want to play two playmakers against sides that play a little differently than we do.

"Playing two playmakers makes it a lot harder for them to shut us down."

In the forwards, Sam Whitelock pairs up with Brodie Retallick in the second row. Skipper Kieran Read returns to No.8 and is joined by Liam Squire and Ardie Savea in the loose forwards.

No longer sidelined by a knee injury, Coles played his first international in 12 months last week against Japan. Source: 1 NEWS

Karl Tu'inukuafe is named to start with Owen Franks in the front row and Codie Taylor cements his spot as the first-choice hooker.

Assistant coach Ian Foster told media earlier this week the team was eager to face off with England for a number of reasons.

"It's a massive opportunity for us to see how good we prepare for yet another big game - that's what we're focusing on," he said.

"The good thing about this game is there's a lot of talk about it, there's a lot of hype about it, and they're the occasions that really test you as a unit.

The 23-year-old has recovered from glandular fever and will partner with Sonny Bill Williams in the midfield. Source: 1 NEWS

"England play a different style to us, largely, and we're going to get that at the World Cup. So it's just another thing we can expose ourselves to and see how we adjust. And for a number of players it's a new experience, because they're not a regular opponent for us."

Dane Coles takes his place on the bench and is joined by Matt Todd, Richie Mo'unga and Ryan Crotty.

All Blacks: 

1 Karl Tu'inukuafe, 2 Codie Taylor, 3 Owen Franks, 4 Samuel Whitelock, 5 Brodie Retallick, 6 Liam Squire, 7 Ardie Savea, 8 Kieran Read (c), 9 Aaron Smith, 10 Beauden Barrett, 11 Rieko Ioane, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 13 Jack Goodhue, 14 Ben Smith, 15 Damian McKenzie.

Reserves: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Scott Barrett, 20 Matt Todd, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Richie Mo'unga, 23 Ryan Crotty. 

1 Karl Tu'inukuafe, 2 Codie Taylor, 3 Owen Franks
1 Karl Tu'inukuafe, 2 Codie Taylor, 3 Owen Franks
DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND - JUNE 23:  Sonny Bill Williams and Jack Goodhue of the All Blacks look on during an international Test match between the New Zealand All Blacks and France at Forsyth Barr Stadium on June 23, 2018 in Dunedin, New Zealand.  (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)
Sonny Bill Williams and Jack Goodhue of the All Blacks look on during an international Test match between the New Zealand All Blacks and France at Forsyth Barr Stadium. Source: Getty


Topics