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Wing Julian Savea left out of All Blacks team to play Wales

  • Wing Julian Savea has been left out of All Blacks team to play Wales
  • Steve Hansen recalls lock Sam Whitelock and fullback Israel Dagg to his starting XC
  • The All Blacks won the first Test 39-21 at Eden Park
New Zealand have recalled World Cup-winning lock Sam Whitelock for the second Test against Wales in Wellington on Saturday.

Whitelock’s return comes at the expense of the dropped Luke Romano.

The All Blacks also shuffled their back three, with Israel Dagg in at full-back and Ben Smith moving to left wing with Julian Savea omitted.



Wales lost the first Test 39-21 and a much-changed team lost 40-7 to the Chiefs on Tuesday.

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: “Our performance in the first Test was very pleasing in a number of ways, especially how we kept our composure under pressure.

“However, there is an expectation that we will need to improve right across the board, with better accuracy, in both our attack and defence, combined with more physicality and intensity.

“We are expecting Wales to come out all guns blazing, particularly after what happened in the Chiefs game, so we will have to not only meet that response, but go to a higher level ourselves.

“Also, on behalf of the team, we would like to congratulate Bender (Ben Smith) and Izzy (Israel Dagg) on reaching their 50th Tests. It’s a special achievement to play one Test, so to get 50 is a wonderful milestone.”

ALL BLACKS: Israel Dagg, Ben Smith, Malakai Fekitoa, Ryan Crotty, Waisake Naholo, Aaron Cruden, Aaron Smith, Kieran Read (c), Sam Cane, Jerome Kaino, Brodie Retallick, Samuel Whitelock, Owen Franks, Dane Coles, Joe Moody. Reserves: Nathan Harris, Wyatt Crockett, Charlie Faumuina, Patrick Tuipulotu, Ardie Savea, TJ Perenara, Beauden Barrett, Seta Tamanivalu.