Savea recalled, Barrett and Laumape start

New Zealand have recalled Julian Savea while Jordie Barrett and Ngani Laumape start for the deciding Test against the Lions on Saturday.

The matchday squad sees 20-year-old outside back Barrett named at full-back for his first Test start in his second Test, with Israel Dagg moving to the right wing, and Savea returning on the left wing.

Laumape starts in the number 12 jersey, while Malakai Fekitoa, who was called into the squad this week, has been named in the matchday 23 as midfield cover.

The third and deciding Test in the New Zealand Lions Series will be a special milestone for a number of players.

Captain Kieran Read will play his 100th Test match and 25th as captain, after making his Test debut in 2008, and he will become the seventh All Blacks centurion after Richie McCaw, Keven Mealamu, Tony Woodcock, Daniel Carter, Ma'a Nonu and Mils Muliaina. Aaron Cruden and Charlie Faumuina are also expected to play their 50th Test matches from the bench.

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: "Firstly, on behalf of the All Blacks and all of New Zealand, I'd like to congratulate 'Reado' (Kieran Read) on reaching the milestone of 100 Test matches. 

"It's a special achievement to play just one Test, so to play 100 is a remarkable effort. His playing ability speaks for itself and inspires others, and he now joins a unique group of special All Blacks. 

"We'd also like to congratulate Jordie on making his first Test start in what will be a very memorable occasion for him.

"This final match in the DHL New Zealand Lions Series is going to be a cracker. It's the Series we expected it to be, as the Lions have quality players. It now comes down to this Saturday – the winner takes all – and that'll create its own unique pressures and it's going to be interesting to see how both sides cope with it.

"We've had a good week of preparation and are very excited by the opportunity that's ahead of us, and I'm sure the Lions are as well. We know it'll be a physical and intense match, but just as importantly, it'll be a game where both teams will have moments of momentum, and the ability of everyone to adapt and adjust throughout the 80 minutes will be crucial."

New Zealand: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Israel Dagg, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody
Replacements: 16 Nathan Harris, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Scott Barrett, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Aaron Cruden, 23 Malakai Fekitoa

Date: Saturday, July 8
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Kick-off: 19:35 local (07:35 GMT)
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant Referees: Jérôme Garcès (France), Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)

Comments