All Blacks skipper Read to miss Wales clash

23 November 2017 18:31

New Zealand will be without captain Kieran Read for their final fixture of 2017 against Wales.

Read will miss Saturday's clash in Cardiff, the star forward having suffered a back injury.

As a result, Sam Whitelock will take his place as skipper, with brother Luke Whitelock assuming the number eight role. 

The only other change for the All Blacks that has been enforced by injury sees Patrick Tuipulotu replace lock Luke Romano. Liam Squire is set to start at blindside flanker, with lock Scott Barrett named on the bench.

"Whilst it's disappointing to not have Reado available, it's a great opportunity to further grow the leadership of the team and, in this case, Sam Whitelock gets the opportunity to captain the side," coach Steve Hansen said.

"On behalf of the team, we'd like to congratulate him on this special honour.

"With his brother Luke captaining the All Blacks against the French XV, it will create a unique, All Blacks family history, and one which their family can be proud of.

"There's been a real energy and buzz in the team this week as we prepare for the Test against Wales.

"The group has worked hard on its preparation, we've asked them to go bone deep and they're looking to deliver a performance we can all be proud of."

While Read is not available, the All Blacks will surprisingly have the services of wing Rieko Ioane at their disposal.

Ioane had been all but been ruled out by Hansen after suffering a rotator cuff injury to his right shoulder, but he has made a remarkable recovery and will have the chance to add to his tally of nine tries in 12 tests.


New Zealand: Damian McKenzie, Waisake Naholo, Ryan Crotty, Sonny Bill Williams, Rieko Ioane, Beauden Barrett, Aaron Smith; Kane Hames, Codie Taylor, Nepo Laulala, Patrick Tuipulotu, Sam Whitelock (captain), Liam Squire, Sam Cane, Luke Whitelock.

Replacements: Nathan Harris, Wyatt Crockett, Ofa Tu'ungafasi, Scott Barrett, Matt Todd, TJ Perenara, Lima Sopoaga, Anton Lienert-Brown.

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11 December 2018


10 December 2018