Woodcock and Piutau to start in Johannesburg

Woodcock and Piutau to start in Johannesburg

Two Blues players have kept their spot on the starting line-up for Sunday morning’s All Blacks v South Africa test.

Loosehead prop Tony Woodcock and left wing Charles Piutau will step out on to the field at Emirates Airline (formerly Ellis) Park in Johannesburg on Sunday.

Also travelling with the team in South Africa are Jerome Kaino and Keven Mealamu.

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: “This is a massive Test for us and one the whole group is looking forward to. It doesn’t get much bigger or better than playing South Africa at Ellis Park. Both teams have a massive amount of respect for each other, both on and off the paddock.

“We know that we will have to step up again this week from our performance against Argentina. Though we were happier with our game last weekend, there is a genuine desire to take it up a level. The Springboks will be desperate after their loss last week and we will have to better that desperation with our own urgency, intensity and accuracy in the execution of our game and skillsets.”

The game will take place at 3.05am on Sunday, July 26 and will be shown live on Sky Sport 1.

The team is:
1. Tony Woodcock (112)
2. Dane Coles (27)
3. Owen Franks (69)
4. Brodie Retallick (38)
5. James Broadhurst
6. Liam Messam (41)
7. Richie McCaw – captain (139)
8. Kieran Read (74)
9. Aaron Smith (38)
10. Lima Sopoaga
11. Charles Piutau (16)
12. Ma’a Nonu (95)
13. Conrad Smith (85)
14. Ben Smith (38)
15. Israel Dagg (48)

Reserves:
16. Codie Taylor (1)
17. Wyatt Crockett (38)
18. Ben Franks (41)
19. Samuel Whitelock (63)
20. Victor Vito (26)
21. TJ Perenara (12)
22. Beauden Barrett (28)
23. Malakai Fekitoa (8)