All Blacks name strong XV to play France

New Zealand have named a strong team ahead of their second test with France this coming weekend at Wellington.

The squad is unchanged from the one that beat France 52-13 in Auckland last weekend. All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen speaking on his team selection for the upcoming game said ”As we have big focus right now on developing our game and working on our skillsets, connections and combinations, it isn’t beneficial to making wholesale changes, if any at all, to the playing 23. Hansen who guided the All-Black to a World Cup in 2015 went on to say further that there is still improvement needed despite been relatively happy with how the game panned out last weekend, he said ”Whilst we were really happy with the way we finished last weekend’s test, we’re fully aware that we still have a lot to do over the Steinlager Series.

Hansen said the All-Blacks will be looking once again to raise their game to a higher level and that his side will be looking to play a high energy game. He went on to say he is excited about the game he said ” The team loves test match atmosphere in Wellington and we are looking forward to Saturday night”.

Statistics Ahead of the Game

Looking at some statistics around the game, Sam Whitelock and Owen Franks are closing in on a century of appearance for the All-Blacks. Whitelock is the most capped All Black lock of all time, while Franks is the second most capped All Blacks prop of all time behind Tony Woodcock on 118 appearances.

Ben Smith is the current top try scorer in the New Zealand side on 30 tries having scored last weekend against the same opposition.

The All Blacks and France have a strong rivalry going back all the way to 1906. Indeed they have played each other  59 times since then with New Zealand winning 46 to France’s 12.

The match day squad is as follows: 

1. Joe Moody (32)
2. Codie Taylor (30)
3. Owen Franks (96)
4. Samuel Whitelock (97) – captain
5. Scott Barrett (17)
6. Liam Squire (16)
7. Sam Cane (54)
8. Luke Whitelock (3)
9. Aaron Smith (72)
10. Beauden Barrett (63)
11. Rieko Ioane (14)
12. Ryan Crotty (33)
13. Anton Lienert-Brown (23)
14. Ben Smith (65)
15. Jordie Barrett (3)
16. Nathan Harris (12)
17. Karl Tu’inukuafe (1)
18. Ofa Tuungafasi (15)
19. Vaea Fifita (6)
20. Ardie Savea (23)
21. TJ Perenara (43)
22. Damian McKenzie (13)
23. Ngani Laumape (5)

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