The All Blacks team has been named to play France for the Dave Gallaher Trophy in the final Test of their Northern Tour at Stade de France.
In several changes from the 23 which played last weekend, Dane Coles will start at hooker, with Samisoni Taukei’aho coming onto the bench; George Bower and Ofa Tuungafasi come in as reserve props; Akira Ioane starts at six and Sam Cane at seven; with Shannon Frizell coming onto the bench as loose forward cover.
In the backs, Aaron Smith starts at halfback, with Richie Mo’unga at ten. Quinn Tupaea comes in at 12 to pair up with Rieko Ioane in the midfield, and George Bridge comes in on the left wing. Brad Weber and Damian McKenzie come onto the bench, joining David Havili as the back reserves.
All Blacks Head Coach Ian Foster said: “We’re really excited about this match, it’s a big statement game for us, and we know we have to respond from the Irish performance.
“It’s been an incredibly long tour but I’ve been delighted with how the players have handled it from a physical point of view. They’ve given us everything and I couldn’t be more proud of the way they've handled the length of this tour.
“But we’ve had to manage the physical and mental load for the players, so have changed things up a bit for this final Test to maximise the energy within the whole group. That’s not a reflection on the guys that haven’t been selected, it’s more a chance to bring some fresh players in, and that’s going to be vital for us.”
Foster said All Blacks versus France Tests were always eagerly-anticipated clashes.
“There’s a mutual respect between our two countries built over years and years. Kiwis have always loved the way the French play, there’s a flair about them that we’ve always been drawn to ... they have knocked us over in some pretty big moments in history.
“They are a young, formidable team building in confidence and they’ve been targeting this match so it’s a huge way for us to finish our Tudor Northern Tour.”
The matchday 23 is:
- Joe Moody (56)
- Dane Coles (79)
- Nepo Laulala (39)
- Brodie Retallick (91)
- Samuel Whitelock (131) – captain
- Akira Ioane (12)
- Sam Cane (76)
- Ardie Savea (59)
- Aaron Smith (101)
- Richie Mo’unga (31)
- George Bridge (18)
- Quinn Tupaea (6)
- Rieko Ioane (46)
- Will Jordan (12)
- Jordie Barrett (35)
- Samisoni Taukei’aho (8)
- George Bower (10)
- Ofa Tuungafasi (43)
- Tupou Vaa’i (10)
- Shannon Frizell (16)
- Brad Weber (16)
- Damian McKenzie (39)
- David Havili (14)
- The All Blacks and France have played each other 61 times since 1906, with 48 wins to the All Blacks, 12 wins to France and one draw. The last match between the two sides was in Dunedin in 2018 which the All Blacks won 49-14. The last Test in France was in Paris on the 2017 Northern Tour, which the All Blacks won 38-18.
- The All Blacks will again be playing for the Dave Gallaher Trophy, which the All Blacks have held since 2009. The trophy was introduced in 2000 and commemorates Dave Gallaher, who was captain of the famous 1905–06 “Originals” All Blacks and later died in battle at Passchendaele in 1917 during World War One.
- Dane Coles will be playing his 80th Test, Ardie Savea his 60th, while Nepo Laulala and Damian McKenzie will be playing their 40th.
All Blacks Tudor Northern Tour
All Blacks 104 USA 14
Saturday 23 October, FedExField, Greater Landover, MARYLAND 20785
All Blacks 54 Wales 16
Saturday 30 October, Principality Stadium, CARDIFF
All Blacks 47 Italy 9
Saturday 6 November, Stadio Olimpico, Viale dei Gladiatori, ROME
All Blacks 20 Ireland 29
Saturday 13 November, Aviva Stadium, DUBLIN
All Blacks vs France
9.00PM CET Saturday 20 November / 9.00AM Sunday 21 November NZT
Stade de France, 93200 Saint-Denis, PARIS