'Scrum Scrutiny' - 5 Talking Points: Scott Robertson's All Blacks Squad to Face England at Eden Park - Ruck

‘Scrum Scrutiny’ – 5 Talking Points: Scott Robertson’s All Blacks Squad to Face England at Eden Park

After coming away with a narrow win from his first match in charge of the All Blacks, head coach Scott Robertson has named his New Zealand side to face England at Eden Park. Robertson has made just one change to the side that secured a 16-15 win in Dunedin, with TJ Perenara forced out of the second Test with a knee injury.

The injury to the scrum half opens up the door for a debut, with an incoming Chiefs young gun set for his first All Blacks cap this Saturday. Shortly after naming his side to take on England in the awe-inspiring Auckland arena, Razor Robertson spoke to the reporting media and addressed an assortment of talking points from the week. Covering everything from the All Blacks scrum scrutiny to the empowering Eden Park effect, here are the five biggest talking points from Robertson’s media session.

1. Chiefs young gun Cortez Ratima primed for his debut off the bench

The sole change to the All Blacks squad sees Finlay Christie start in the nine jersey, with TJ Perenara ruled out. The scrum half is not expected back in time for New Zealand’s upcoming trip to San Diego, California, when they take on Fiji in an exiting international Test. Blues halfback Christie steps in for Perenara, with Cortez Ratima awarded the 21 jersey. Speaking on his advice to the 23-year-old Ratima, Robertson said:

SCOTT ROBERTSON: “‘Just trust yourself. Be yourself.’ He is a good kid. He is extremely competitive, he likes to win everything. Once he was named, he just got on with it. He has got a couple of pretty good mentors and now is his opportunity.”

2. Beauden Barrett is back on the bench – ‘straightforward’ team selection from Razor

For the second time since returning from Japan, Beauden Barrett has been left out of an All Blacks starting XV. Robertson utilised the fullback to his best abilities against England, as Barrett exploded off the bench and had an immediate impact at the Forsyth Barr Stadium. However, Robertson has again opted for Blues man Stephen Perofeta to start in the 15 jersey, with Barrett covering both him and starting fly half Damian McKenzie.

SCOTT ROBERTSON: “Yeah very straightforward. There were some great performances and areas where we can get better. The players have been really good this week once we got some cohesion in place and straight into our work. Named the team on Tuesday and have had a couple of days.

“Yeah, everyone knows where the classroom is now. It is like your first week at school. It takes a while to get your bearings and how the teacher runs it and the structure of the week.

“I thought Stephen (Perofeta) was exceptional and really took his opportunity. He just gives us that balance between 10 and 15 when we need to bring on Beauden he understands the game so well. A couple of his early touches gave us the field position that we needed.”