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PREVIEW: All Blacks v Scotland (Edinburgh)



The All Blacks will look to continue their 31-match unbeaten run against Scotland when they clash at the iconic Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh on Monday morning (NZT).

Match details: All Blacks v Scotland, Monday 14 November, 3.15am NZT (Sunday 13 November, 2.15pm GMT), Murrayfield, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Played: 31

Won: All Blacks 29, Drawn: 2

Last time: All Blacks 22, Scotland 17 (18 November 2017)

Referee: Frank Murphy (IRFU)

Assistant Referee 1: Andrew Brace (IRFU)

Assistant Referee 2: Chris Busby (IRFU)

TMO: Tom Foley (RFU)



While 16 All Blacks have been retained from the match day 23 that played in last week’s win against Wales, some different combinations are set to be used against Scotland. Halfback Finlay Christie will wear the number nine jersey for the third time. Outside him at first-five eighths, Beauden Barrett will mark his 56th Test in the number 10 jersey. Midfielders David Havili and Anton Lienert-Brown will feature in the run-on side after being used in tandem as reserves during the last two Tests. Their inclusion sees Jordie Barrett revert to fullback. Mark Telea will make his debut on the right wing. In the forward pack, Samisoni Taukei’aho will start at hooker, Nepo Laulala at tighthead prop and Akira Ioane at blindside flanker. The new faces in the reserves are loosehead prop George Bower, halfback TJ Perenara and utility Stephen Perofeta.



Scotland have made three changes to the side that took out Fiji 28-12 last week. Hooker Fraser Brown, first five-eighth Finn Russell, and centre Sione Tuipulotu all come into the starting side which features seven players who faced the All Blacks back in 2017. The biggest talking point is the inclusion of the dynamic Russell in place of injured playmaker Adam Hastings. Russell was a key performer in Scotland’s last clash against the All Blacks in 2017 and will connect with halfback Ali Price as they did in 2017.


Memories of the heartbreaking 22-17 loss to the All Blacks at Murrayfield in 2017 still loom large for Scotland and their coach Gregor Townsend. Scotland remains the only top-tier rugby nation never to have beaten the All Blacks since they first met on the 1905-06 tour. The closest Scotland has got is a 0-0 draw in 1964 and a 25-25 draw in 1983. In 2017 it took a brilliant cover tackle by Beauden Barrett to prevent Scotland from scoring a potential match-winning try with time up on the clock. When asked if there was unfinished business against New Zealand, Townsend said: “There is 100 years of unfinished business.”


Winger Mark Telea has been selected to make his first Test appearance, four months after initially being called up as COVID cover during the Steinlager series. The 25-year-old was called in as injury cover for this campaign and is now in line to become All Black number 1207. Telea is coming off the back of a stellar season for North Harbour in the Bunnings NPC in 2022 where he was first in defenders beaten (68), third in most metres (1112), third in most carries (116) and fifth in clean breaks (13).


All Blacks coach Ian Foster said Scotland would be a rugged opponent on their home track. “They are robust at the breakdown and play with quite a bit of adventure to their game. They challenge you in different areas with some different types of plays that some other teams challenge you up here. In the last couple of years, they’ve shown they can get up and play very well in big games. I guess they’re searching for consistency as well as a team but the upside is their top game is at a pretty high level,” Ian Foster said.


Fans are invited to make their call on the All Blacks clash with Scotland for a chance to win a $500 All Blacks Shop voucher. Make your predictions HERE.

TEAMS (Test caps in brackets):

All Blacks

1. Ethan de Groot (11) 2. Samisoni Taukei’aho (19) 3. Nepo Laulala (43) 4. Samuel Whitelock (141 – Captain) 5. Scott Barrett (56) 6. Akira Ioane (20) 7. Dalton Papali’i (20) 8. Ardie Savea (68) 9. Finlay Christie (13) 10. Beauden Barrett (110) 11. Caleb Clarke (13) 12. David Havili (23) 13. Anton Lienert-Brown (58) 14. Mark Telea (*) 15. Jordie Barrett (46)

Reserves: 16. Codie Taylor (74) 17. George Bower (20) 18. Fletcher Newell (5) 19. Tupou Vaa’i (17) 20. Shannon Frizell (23) 21. TJ Perenara (78) 22. Stephen Perofeta (2) 23. Rieko Ioane (57)


1. Pierre Schoeman (14) 2. Fraser Brown (55) 3. Zander Fagerson (52) 4. Richie Gray (68) 5. Grant Gilchrist (57) 6. Jamie Ritchie – Captain – (34) 7. Hamish Watson (53) 8. Matt Fagerson (26) 9. Ali Price (56) 10. Finn Russell (63) 11. Duhan van der Merwe (21) 12. Sione Tuipulotu (9) 13. Chris Harris (37) 14. Darcy Graham (31) 15. Stuart Hogg (94)

Reserves: 16. Ewan Ashman (5) 17. Rory Sutherland (21) 18. WP Nel (49) 19. Jonny Gray (70) 20. Jack Dempsey (2) 21. Ben White (7) 22. Blair Kinghorn (36) 23. Mark Bennett (28)

Content & Images from – New Zealand Rugby


Spencer looking to bring innovation to Sky Super Rugby Aupiki



Former All Blacks and Blues first five-eighths Carlos Spencer hopes to pass on the sort of rugby that marked his career as a backs coach for the Blues women’s side in Sky Super Rugby Aupiki in 2023.

The 99-time Blues’ pivot played 44 Tests for the All Blacks and 89 games for Auckland during his career spanning the turn of the century. He also played for Northampton and Gloucester in the English Premiership.

Since building his coaching record after completing his rugby-playing career in South Africa in Gauteng, he has coached in the Republic, the United States and the Hurricanes in Wellington.

Now he has taken the chance to join head coach Willie Walker and fellow assistant coach Linda Itunu with the Blues.

Spencer, 47, said: “When I was playing, I always liked to bring a bit of innovation and ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking to the table. Now, as a coach, I want to encourage and help grow those same traits in our Blues wahine.”

Like most of New Zealand, he was caught up in the Black Ferns’ World Cup success, and he anticipates there will be a follow-on effect in Sky Super Rugby Aupiki.

“You’ve seen the rise of women’s rugby and the way the public got right in behind the Black Ferns.

“We’re at an exciting juncture for the sport, and I’m looking forward to getting involved and doing what I can to help grow and support women’s rugby.”

“I’ve known Willie [Walker] for a while. We’ve thrown the touch ball around and have a good relationship. He’s done some fantastic work with the Auckland Storm in the Farah Palmer Cup, and I’m looking forward to exchanging ideas and getting the backline humming.

“I don’t know Linda, but have seen her exploits on the field for many years with the Black Ferns – she was an enforcer on the field,”

Blues chief executive Andrew Hore said having Spencer on board with the Blues organisation was special, and was an example of harnessing the resources available within the franchise’s region.

Content & Images from – New Zealand Rugby

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Constructive talks between World Rugby, Erasmus



South Africa Rugby - Image Credit Asics

World Rugby CEO Alan Gilpin and World Rugby Director of Rugby Phil Davies met with South Africa Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus on Thursday and held positive discussions regarding recent events and match official communications in general.

Views were exchanged resulting in a better understanding of the respective positions.

There was agreement that further dialogue was needed in terms of enhancing the process that operates between teams and match officials to ensure all can play their part in creating great spectacles and avoid frustration but in a way that underpins the respect for match officials, coaches and players.

Further dialogue will continue after today’s final Springbok test of the year.

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Nienaber, Kolisi praise Boks for special win



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Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber and captain Siya Kolisi praised the team for their brave effort to earn their first win over England at Twickenham since 2014, and their first personal victories in London as they registered a rewarding 27-13 victory on Saturday.

The Boks built up an encouraging 14-3 halftime lead and managed to stretch it to 27-6 in the 57th minute before being reduced to 14 men for the last 20 minutes after replacement prop Thomas du Toit received a red card for a dangerous tackle. Despite this, the team hung on as if their lives depended on it to snatch the memorable victory.

The result saw the Boks win two of their four matches on the Castle Lager Outgoing Tour – with the two narrow defeats being against the first and second ranked teams in the world in Ireland and France.

“We’ve had a couple of special results as a team, but this was the first win for Siya and I at Twickenham, so it’s very special to us,” said Nienaber.

“The forwards were outstanding and created a good platform for our backs to attack, so all-in-all, it was a fantastic team effort.”

Kolisi echoed lauded the entire team for their efforts to make the victory possible.

“Sometimes we take it for granted what a special environment one is in and the great coaching team we have,” said Kolisi.

“When we got together with most of this coaching team in 2018, we all bought into the plans and the synergy and the way we work together is really special in this group.”

Springbok captain Siya Kolisi thanks the crowd after the Boks won at Twickenham.

Springbok captain Siya Kolisi thanks the crowd after the Boks won at Twickenham.

Nienaber was delighted with the way some of the young players rose to the occasion and said: “With this match being outside of the international Test window there were a whole lot of players who were not available for selection, but we have a lot of players knocking on the door and it was great to give those guys an opportunity tonight.

“It’s always good to give those players a chance under such pressure in front of a packed Twickenham, which can be pretty hostile, and they stood up today.”

Asked what he had told his players when they were reduced to 14 men, Kolisi said: “We actually said last week there is nothing we haven’t faced together as a group year. We’ve even been in situation when we had a red card, so the players knew what to do.

“Everyone knew they had to work harder to make up for the extra man, and the way the forwards played was great, and everyone did their bit to get the result.”

Wrapping up the tour, Nienaber said: “This was one of the most enjoyable four weeks we’ve had had even though we only got a 50% win record. The way the team, coaches, management and the game drivers made plans and worked tightly together with it was great, and we can take a lot from this going forward.”

The team will make their journey back to South Africa on Sunday and arrive on their home soil on Monday.

Content & Images from – South Africa Rugby

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