Faumuina to start in round two of RWC

Faumuina to start in round two of RWC

Charlie Faumuina will make his first Rugby World Cup start, while Keven Mealamu and Tony Woodcock will support from the bench in the All Blacks’ second pool match on Thursday.

The All Blacks will face Namibia in their second pool match of Rugby World Cup 2015 at The Stadium, London, on Thursday 24 September (Kick-off 7am Friday, NZT), with openside flanker Sam Cane to captain a new-look All Blacks team for the first time.

The team is: (with Test caps in brackets):
1. Ben Franks (43)
2. Codie Taylor (3)
3. Charlie Faumuina (28)
4. Luke Romano (20)
5. Samuel Whitelock (67)
6. Liam Messam (42)
7. Sam Cane – captain (25)
8. Victor Vito (29)
9. T J Perenara (15)
10. Beauden Barrett (31)
11. Julian Savea (37)
12. Sonny Bill Williams (27)
13. Malakai Fekitoa (11)
14. Nehe Milner-Skudder (3)
15. Colin Slade (20)
Reserves
16. Keven Mealamu (127)
17. Wyatt Crockett (41)
18. Tony Woodcock (116)
19. Kieran Read (78)
20. Richie McCaw (143)
21. Tawera Kerr-Barlow (15)
22. Ma’a Nonu (98)
23. Ben Smith (42)

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: “It’s a very special moment for 23-year-old Sam Cane who will captain the All Blacks for the first time. He’s in our leadership group, is hugely respected by everyone, is a fierce and fearless player and is someone who has the potential of being a long-term captain of the All Blacks in the future.”

Hansen said it was also a fantastic opportunity for those players not selected for the opening Test to get game time.
“At the completion of this match, 30 of the 31 players in our squad will have experienced time in the middle of the park which will give us a good foundation base going forward and which was always part of our planning pre-Tournament. It’s now their time to step up.
“Five of our team will also be playing their first Rugby World Cup match so it’ll be a significant moment for them and their families as well.”
Hansen added: “The Namibian players will be excited by it too and it will be a great occasion at The Stadium on Thursday.”