South Africa aren’t the only team who will embark on their 2012 Test campaign with a greenhorn in engine room. New All Black coach Steven Hansen has taken a leaf out of Heyneke Meyer’s book in naming his own Eben Etzebeth – Chiefs lock Brodie Retallick – to start against Ireland.
The 21-year-old second rower is one of three debutants in an otherwise settled looking All Black side featuring Dan Carter and Richie McCaw back in their established posts. Form has featured in the selection of the other two newcomers, with Highlanders scrumhalf Aaron Smith fancied over Piri Weepu and Canes winger Julian Savea handed the number 11 jersey.
Crusaders players are well-represented up-front, with prop Owen Franks, lock Sam Whitelock and number 8 Kieran Read joining captain McCaw in the pack, whilst the backline features an exciting centre combination in the Chief’s Sonny Bill Williams alongside veteran Conrad Smith.
NEW ZEALAND – 15-Israel Dagg, 14-Zac Guildford, 13-Conrad Smith, 12-Sonny Bill Williams, 11-Julian Savea, 10-Dan Carter, 9-Aaron Smith, 8-Kieran Read, 7-Richie McCaw (captain), 6-Victor Vito, 5-Sam Whitelock, 4-Brodie Retallick, 3-Owen Franks, 2-Andrew Hore, 1-Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16-Hika Elliot, 17-Ben Franks, 18-Ali Williams, 19-Adam Thomson, 20-Piri Weepu, 21-Aaron Cruden, 22-Ben Smith.Tweet