The All Blacks team has been named to play Wales at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, on Saturday 30 October. (Kick-off: 5.15PM GMT / 5.15AM Sunday NZT) in the second Test of the Tudor Northern Tour.
The matchday 23 is:
1. Joe Moody (54)
2. Codie Taylor (64)
3. Nepo Laulala (37)
4. Brodie Retallick (89)
5. Samuel Whitelock (128) – captain
6. Ethan Blackadder (7)
7. Dalton Papalii (10)
8. Ardie Savea (56)
9. TJ Perenara (76)
10. Beauden Barrett (99)
11. Rieko Ioane (44)
12. David Havili (11)
13. Anton Lienert-Brown (54)
14. Will Jordan (10)
15. Jordie Barrett (32)
16. Samisoni Taukei’aho (7)
17. Karl Tu’inukuafe (23)
18. Tyrel Lomax (11)
19. Tupou Vaa’i (8)
20. Akira Ioane (10)
21. Brad Weber (14)
22. Richie Mo’unga (28)
23. Sevu Reece (14)
First five-eighth Beauden Barrett has been selected for his 100th Test in what will be a memorable occasion for the 30 year old and his family. Barrett will be playing his eighth Test against the Welsh in a stellar career which began back in 2012 and he becomes the All Blacks’ 11th Test centurion.
All Blacks Head Coach Ian Foster said: “It’s a very special time for Beauden and his family and it’s also a special time for this team and its legacy. He’s a big part of this team, he’s a key leader, he’s captained the All Blacks, he’s vice captain on this tour and he’s an influencer on and off the park. I can’t speak more highly about his contribution as a person to the black jersey. The chance to play his 100th Test at this stadium against Wales is really special.”
In the starting forward pack, the experienced front row of props Joe Moody and Nepo Laulala and hooker Codie Taylor are back, after last running out in the second Test against South Africa earlier this month, while the starting locks of Brodie Retallick, in his 90th Test, and 128-Test All Blacks Captain Samuel Whitelock bring huge international experience. Ethan Blackadder gets the nod at blindside flanker in his fourth Test start, Dalton Papalii is again at seven, while Ardie Savea returns in the number eight jersey. The forward reserves are hooker Samisoni Taukei’aho, props Karl Tu’inukuafe and Tyrel Lomax, lock Tupou Vaa’i and loose forward Akira Ioane.
In the starting backline, halfback TJ Perenara will start inside Beauden Barrett, with David Havili at 12 and centre Anton Lienert-Brown the midfield combination. Rieko Ioane and Will Jordan are on the wings and Jordie Barrett is at fullback. The back reserves are halfback Brad Weber, first five-eighth Richie Mo’unga and winger Sevu Reece.
Foster said: “It’s exciting to be back here in the North, albeit in very different circumstances. The All Blacks have always loved touring North, these Test matches are a big part of our history as a rugby team and it’s been three years since we played in Europe, so there’s a real sense of excitement. What a better place to start than at a packed-out stadium here in Cardiff.
Foster added the All Blacks squad was under no illusions about what they would be facing on Saturday.
“The Welsh will play with their traditional passion and their fans singing in the Stadium, and they’ll throw everything at us. They are Six Nations champions and a very good team. They have a group of young players coming through who’ll be excited to play so we will have to be ready, and we are.”
Reflecting on how the All Blacks squad was doing nine weeks into a 13-week overseas tour “like no other”, Foster added:
“We have a short-term focus because the length of the tour is so unique to us. Clearly, there have been a lot of obstacles we’ve had to go through – and will go through – but I’m incredibly proud of how the team has responded to the challenges.
“But we are focussed on what each week holds and putting all our energy into that. Ultimately, we will be judged on our perfomance on Saturday and that’s what we love. We have got to be clear when we play and go out and do what we do, and we’re certainly ready to do that.
- The All Blacks and Wales have played each other 35 times, with 32 wins to the All Blacks and three to Wales. The last match between the two sides was the Bronze Final at RWC2019 in Japan.
- All Blacks Captain Samuel Whitelock last week became the third most capped All Black of all time, playing his 128th Test, surpassing Kieran Read. Keven Mealamu is on 132 and Richie McCaw 148.
- As well as playing his 100th Test, Beauden Barrett could surpass 700 Test points on Saturday. He is currently sitting on 693 points (37 tries, 164 conversions, 58 penalties and two droppped goals) and is third on the All Blacks’ all-time scoring list, behind Dan Carter and Andrew Mehrtens.
- Barrett scored a try against the USA last week and his 37 tries now put him equal with All Blacks greats Jonah Lomu and Tana Umaga. Barrett also extended his world record for tries scored by a starting five-eighth to 26.
All Blacks Tudor Northern Tour
All Blacks 104 USA 14. Saturday 23 October, FedExField, Greater Landover, MARYLAND 20785
All Blacks vs Wales. 5.15PM GMT Saturday 30 October / 5.15AM NZT Sunday 31 October, Principality Stadium, Westgate St, CARDIFF CF10 1NS
All Blacks vs Italy. 2.00PM CET Saturday 6 November / 2.00AM NZT Sunday 7 November Stadio Olimpico, Viale dei Gladiatori, 00135 ROME
All Blacks vs Ireland. 3.15PM GMT Saturday 13 November / 4.15AM Sunday 14 November NZT, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Rd, Ballsbridge, DUBLIN 4
All Blacks vs France. 9.00PM CET Saturday 20 November / 9.00AM Sunday 21 November NZT, Stade de France, 93200 Saint-Denis, PARIS
Key All Black announces sabbatical to play in Japan
All Blacks captain Sam Cane will take up a sabbatical option in his New Zealand Rugby (NZR) contract in 2024 to play a season for Suntory in Japan League One.
The 31-year-old, 95-Test loose forward will miss the 2024 DHL Super Rugby Pacific season with the Chiefs, but will return to New Zealand in June to be available for selection to the All Blacks for the 2024 Steinlager Series and Rugby Championship campaign.
Cane, who is contracted to NZR through to the end of 2025, said he was looking forward to experiencing a new playing environment with Suntory and learning more about a new culture in Japan.
“When the opportunity to play for Suntory in 2024 came up it felt like the right time following the Rugby World Cup to try something new and also a great chance to continue to grow and learn in my rugby and life journey. I’m grateful to New Zealand Rugby for their support to take this opportunity.
“It wasn’t an easy decision to skip a season with the Chiefs, but I know the team is in a great place and has an incredible group of leaders in the squad and the coaching group to have a successful 2024, and I’m really pleased to be able to return in time to put my best foot forward for selection in the All Blacks.”
NZR CEO Mark Robinson said:
“Sam’s decision to take a sabbatical in 2024 has our full support and we wish him and his family all the best for their time in Japan. There are very few players who have given as much as he has to the jerseys he’s worn in his career to date and it’s a mark of his commitment to the All Blacks that he will return and make himself available for the Test season.”
Gallagher Chiefs Head Coach Clayton McMillan said:
“Sam has given everything to this team on and off the field and deserves to take this opportunity to experience something different. He is an exceptional player and influential leader who has been an integral part of the Gallagher Chiefs for many years. We wish him and his family all the best and hope they enjoy their time in Japan after a full-on year.”
Key All Black commits to Gallagher Chiefs until 2025
Dominant loose forward Luke Jacobson has extended his contract with the Gallagher Chiefs, Waikato and New Zealand Rugby until the end of 2025.
The 18-test All Black was a consistent starter for the Gallagher Chiefs this year and a key element of their outstanding DHL Super Rugby Pacific performances. He consequently went on to be named in the All Blacks squad to travel to France.
Gallagher Chiefs head coach Clayton McMillan is delighted to have Jacobson sticking around for another two seasons.
“Luke is an outstanding player; he’s a workhorse, a consistent performer and considered a real warrior within our group. Luke leads by example both on and off the field. He isnt one to waste words and prefers to let his actions speak for themself. In the absence of some senior players who have moved on, I have no doubt Luke will play an integral part providing the leadership and guidance our younger players will be looking for”.
Jacobson has impressed throughout his career, playing for the New Zealand U20s team twice and captaining them in his second season to win the 2017 U20 World Championship title. This aptitude for leadership has seen him pull on the Gallagher Chiefs captain’s armband on multiple occasions.
Waikato Rugby head coach Ross Filipo is excited about Luke extending his career with Waikato. “He is a great man and a great leader who continues to make huge contributions on and off the field and always represents the region with pride.”
Speaking on his signing Jacobson said: “I’m stoked to signing on with the Waikato, Chiefs and NZR for another two years. I love representing these teams and am very proud to be able to call myself a Waikato/Chiefs man and also and All black. I’m hungry to succeed with these teams and tick off a few unticked boxes.”
The 2024 Gallagher Chiefs squad will be named later this year ahead of assembling for pre-season training.
QUARTERFINAL PREVIEW: All Blacks v Ireland (Rugby World Cup 2023)
Get ready for what is arguably the most anticipated quarterfinal in Rugby World Cup history as number one-ranked Ireland squares off with three-time champions, the All Blacks, for a spot in the semifinals.
MATCH DETAILS: All Blacks v Ireland, Saturday 14 October, 9pm CET, Stade de France, Paris (Sunday 15 October, 8am NZT)
Won: All Blacks 30, Ireland 5, drawn 1
Last time: All Blacks 22, Ireland 32 (16 July 2022, Sky Stadium, Wellington)
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Ireland qualified for the quarterfinals as the winners of Pool B with victories over Romania (82-8), Tonga (59-16), South Africa (13-8) and Scotland (36-14). They have now won 17 Test matches in a row. The most consecutive victories for a tier one nation stands at 18 by New Zealand (2015-2016) and England (2015-2017). The All Blacks qualified for the quarterfinals by coming second in Pool A. The team rebounded from an opening round 13-27 loss to France to beat Namibia (71-3), Italy (96-17) and Uruguay (73-0) to sew up a spot in the quarterfinals.
All BLACKS SQUAD UPDATE
With a combined 1366 Test caps worth of experience, the match day 23 will be led out by captain Sam Cane in front of 80,000 fans at Stade de France. Cane is joined by Ardie Savea and Shannon Frizell in the starting loose forward trio. It will mark the first time they have run out together since the team’s 35-20 win over South Africa in Auckland. Meanwhile, loosehead prop Ethan de Groot has returned from suspension to join Codie Taylor and Tyrel Lomax in the front row. Their last start together was in the team’s 38-7 win over Australia in Melbourne. After an impressive hat-trick against Namibia, Leicester Fainga’anuku has been selected on the left wing and will feature alongside Beauden Barrett and Will Jordan in the back three.
UNCHANGED IRISH STARTING FIFTEEN
Ireland coach Andy Farrell has named an unchanged starting XV for the first time at RWC 2023. The only two changes to the match-day team from last week’s victory against Scotland are on the bench, with Joe McCarthy replacing fellow second row James Ryan (injured) and Jimmy O’Brien replacing Stuart McCloskey. Johnny Sexton will play his 15th Test against the All Blacks for Ireland, and 18th overall including the British and Irish Lions. He will surpass Alun Wyn Jones (17) for most Tests by any Northern Hemisphere player against New Zealand.
Irish pivot Johnny Sexton said the side had worked on its mental game since losing to the All Blacks in the 2019 quarterfinal and had put themselves in different scenarios to prepare for knockout rugby. “Each quarterfinal or where we haven’t got through our pool, have all been different, and it’s a different group again. Each of those groups lost once,” Sexton said. “It wasn’t the same group losing quarterfinals year and year. If it was club rugby it might be different, but I don’t think we are carrying much baggage. It is a one-off game and we have got to prepare for now.”
All Blacks captain Sam Cane said the side is treating the clash against Ireland as a final. “We take confidence from the hard work that has gone into the preparation. We are going in with confidence, and it will be about executing what we have done on the training pitch out there, under massive pressure, in front of a full crowd,” Cane said. “If we are able to do that, and do it consistently, we will give ourselves a really good shot at winning.”
New Zealand have scored the most tries of any of the eight quarterfinalists with 38 tries at an average of 9.5 per game. Ireland and France are second equal with 27 tries at an average of 6.8 tries per match.
Tune into NZR+ for the pre-match live show with Jim Hamilton and special guests pitch side at Stade de France. Stream the pre-match live show for free HERE.
All Blacks (caps in brackets):
1. Ethan de Groot (19) 2. Codie Taylor (82) 3. Tyrel Lomax (29) 4. Brodie Retallick (106) 5. Scott Barrett (66) 6. Shannon Frizell (30) 7. Sam Cane (c) (92) 8. Ardie Savea (78) 9. Aaron Smith (122)
10. Richie Mo’unga (53) 11. Leicester Fainga’anuku (6) 12. Jordie Barrett (54) 13. Rieko Ioane (66) 14. Will Jordan (28) 15. Beauden Barrett (120)
Reserves: 16. Dane Coles (89) 17. Tamaiti Williams (5) 18. Fletcher Newell (11) 19. Samuel Whitelock (150) 20. Dalton Papali’i (29) 21. Finlay Christie (19) 22. Damian McKenzie (45) 23. Anton Lienert-Brown (67)
1 Andrew Porter 2 Dan Sheehan 3 Tadhg Furlong 4 Tadhg Beirne 5 Iain Henderson 6 Peter O’Mahony 7 Josh van der Flier 8 Caelan Doris 9 Jamison Gibson-Park 10 Johnny Sexton (c) 11 James Lowe 12 Bundee Aki 13 Garry Ringrose 14 Mack Hansen 15 Hugo Keenan
Reserves: 16 Ronan Kelleher 17 Dave Kilcoyne 18 Finlay Bealham 19 Joe McCarthy 20 Jack Conan 21 Conor Murray 22 Jack Crowley 23 Jimmy O’Brien