Crotty returns for All Blacks-Pumas clash

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

All Blacks centre Ryan Crotty has been recalled to New Zealand’s starting side, in the only change to the team that claimed the Bledisloe Cup a fortnight ago.

Crotty missed the second Bledisloe Test with concussion, but has slotted straight back into the run-on team to face the Pumas in Hamilton on Saturday.

Wellington debutant Anton Lienert-Brown has shifted back to the bench with Crotty’s return.

Hooker Codie Taylor also returns to the 23, after a head knock ruled him out the second Bledisloe, deputising to Dane Coles.

Lock Luke Romano has been included on the bench, in the final change of the 23.

The All Blacks are undefeated in the Rugby Championship. Photo: Getty ImagesAll Blacks coach Steve Hansen has stuck with Israel Dagg and Julian Savea on the wings, with Ben Smith holding down the fullback spot once again.

"In selecting this team, we felt there was the need for consistency,” he said.

“The squad is five games into re-establishing themselves on the international stage and we felt that it would not be right to make a lot of changes.

"We know we'll be facing a completely different challenge this week.  Argentina will bring their traditional physicality up front and flair in the backs and we will have to be ready for whatever they throw at us.

"They have shown in their time in the Investec Rugby Championship, and especially in their two recent Tests against South Africa, that they are a very good side and will bring their own unique challenges.”

The All Blacks host Argentina in Hamilton on Saturday at 5:35pm AEST and a win would put them in the box seat to reclaim the Rugby Championship.

 All Blacks team to face Argentina

1. Joe Moody

2.  Dane Coles

3.  Owen Franks

4.  Brodie Retallick

5.  Samuel Whitelock

6.  Jerome Kaino

7.  Sam Cane

8.  Kieran Read - captain

9.  Aaron Smith

10.  Beauden Barrett

11.  Julian Savea

12.  Ryan Crotty

13.  Malakai Fekitoa

14.  Israel Dagg

15.  Ben Smith


16.  Codie Taylor

17.  Wyatt Crockett

18.  Charlie Faumuina

19.  Luke Romano

20. Ardie Savea

21.  TJ Perenara

22.  Aaron Cruden

23.  Anton Lienert-Brown