The All Blacks team to play Argentina in the Rugby Championship opener in Christchurch on Friday 17 July has been named, with exciting winger Waisake Naholo to make his Test debut, and another new All Black, hooker Codie Taylor, named on the reserves bench.
The Highlanders’ 24-year-old Naholo comes in for George Moala in one of six changes from the matchday 23 that played Samoa last week.
In the forwards, lock Brodie Retallick is back in the starting XV, replacing Samuel Whitelock, with Jeremy Thrush coming in as lock reserve. TJ Perenara is at halfback, with Andy Ellis, who played his 250th first-class match last week, moving to the bench, while Ma’a Nonu has been named at centre in his 95th Test, and Ryan Crotty moves to the bench.
Taylor replaces Hikawera Elliot as reserve hooker and the only other change in the reserves sees loose forward Liam Messam come in for Matt Todd.
Prop Tony Woodcock will make his 100th Test start in an outstanding career, while the matchday 23 boasts 1,068 caps worth of experience and an average age of 28 years.
Fijian-born Naholo scored 13 tries for the champion Highlanders this year, the second highest season number in Super Rugby history.
Kick off: Friday 17 July, 19:35 local, 07:35 GMT, 08:35 BST
New Zealand team:
15 Israel Dagg 14 Waisake Naholo 13 Ma’a Nonu 12 Sonny Bill Williams 11 Charles Piutau 10 Daniel Carter 9 TJ Perenara 8 Kieran Read 7 Richie McCaw (captain) 6 Jerome Kaino 5 Brodie Retallick 4 Luke Romano 3 Owen Franks 2 Keven Mealamu 1 Tony Woodcock
Replacements: 16 Codie Taylor 17 Wyatt Crockett 18 Nepo Laulala 19 Jeremy Thrush 20 Liam Messam 21 Andy Ellis 22 Colin Slade 23 Ryan Crotty
15 Joaquin Tuculet 14 Horacio Agulla 13 Marcelo Bosch 12 Jeronimo de la Fuente 11 Santiago Cordero 10 Nicolas Sanchez 9 Tomas Cubelli 1 Marcos Ayerza 2 Agustin Creevy 3 Ramiro Herrera 4 Manuel Carizza 5 Guido Petti Pagadizaval 6 Juan Manuel Leguizamon 7 Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe 8 Facundo Isa
Replacements: 16 Julian Montoya 17 Lucas Noguera Paz 18 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro 19 Benjamin Macome 20 Javier Ortega Desio 21 Martin Landajo 22 Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias 23 Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino