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Damian McKenzie in as Beauden Barrett benched for first All Black test

BY Jack Tunney  ·  Thursday Jul 4, 2024

Scott Robertson has named his All Black side to face England in the first of their two tests for the 2024 Steinlager Ultra Low Carb Series.

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The first test, taking part at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, will be the All Blacks first challenge since their defeat in last years World Cup final defeat to South Africa. Looking to ensure they don’t fall to the same fate as they did in October, new head coach Robertson has made some brave calls, opting to leave 123-cap Beauden Barrett on the bench, giving Damian McKenzie the starting birth instead.

“This was a very tough squad to pick, but we’ve selected the best 23 players to beat England on Saturday,” Robertson said.

“There is a lot of excitement in the group for our first Test and we’re walking together toward this opportunity to represent New Zealand and our families in Dunedin in front of a sold out stadium. We’ve prepared well and we’re ready.”

All Blacks match-day 23 (Test caps in brackets)

1. Ethan de Groot (22)
2. Codie Taylor (85)
3. Tyrel Lomax (32)
4. Scott Barrett (69) (Captain)
5. Patrick Tuipulotu (43)
6. Samipeni Finau (1)
7. Dalton Papali’i (32)
8. Ardie Savea (81) (Vice Captain)
9. TJ Perenara (80)
10. Damian McKenzie (47)
11. Mark Tele’a (9)
12. Jordie Barrett (57) (Vice Captain)
13. Rieko Ioane (67)
14. Sevu Reece (23)
15. Stephen Perofeta (3)

16. Asafo Aumua (6)
17. Ofa Tu’ungafasi (57)
18. Fletcher Newell (13)
19. Tupou Vaa’i (25)
20. Luke Jacobson (18)
21. Finlay Christie (21)
22. Anton Lienert-Brown (70)
23. Beauden Barrett (123)

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This will be Scott Barrett’s first test since being announced as captain during the recent squad announcements. Barrett will be backed up by the 2023 World Men’s 15s Player of the Year, Ardie Savea.

Watch the exclusive reveal-all episode of Walk the Talk with Ardie Savea as he chats to Jim Hamilton about the RWC 2023 experience, life in Japan, playing for the All Blacks and what the future holds. Watch now for free on RugbyPass TV

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