The All Blacks team has been named to play Wales in the Rugby World Cup 2019 Bronze Final at Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo, on Friday 1 November (Kick-off: 6.00PM, 10.00PM NZT)
The matchday 23 is as follows (Test caps in brackets):
1. Joe Moody (44)
2. Dane Coles (68)
3. Nepo Laulala (24)
4. Brodie Retallick (80)
5. Scott Barrett (35)
6. Shannon Frizell (8)
7. Sam Cane (67)
8. Kieran Read – captain (126)
9. Aaron Smith (91)
10. Richie Mo’unga (16)
11. Rieko Ioane (28)
12. Sonny Bill Williams (56)
13. Ryan Crotty (47)
14. Ben Smith (83)
15. Beauden Barrett (82)
16. Liam Coltman (7)
17. Atu Moli (7)
18. Angus Ta’avao (13)
19. Patrick Tuipulotu (29)
20. Matt Todd (24)
21. Brad Weber (4)
22. Anton Lienert-Brown (41)
23. Jordie Barrett (16)
All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: “This was a tough team to select because, as always, everyone wanted to play. But with a short turnaround and the nature of the Tournament, we feel that this is the right team for this occasion.
“There’s been alot of external talk around this being the game that no one wants to play. However, from our point of view, we can’t wait to play it. Everyone in the squad – players and management – are motivated by the opportunity to show that our last performance wasn’t at the high standard that we know we can play at.
“This is a Test match against an opposition that will also be keen to make a statement. Therefore, we will need to turn up with real attitude, intent and work ethic, and then execute our skillsets to the highest level possible. The game will be physical and fast as both teams will look to play to their strengths. We are looking forward to it and can’t wait.”
In conclusion, Hansen said: “Whilst none of us – players, management or fans – got the result we wanted at this Tournament, this is another opportunity for us to wear the jersey and represent our country with pride. On behalf of the All Blacks, we’d like to thank our fans for all their ongoing, unconditional support. It’s something that we never take for granted and is greatly appreciated by us all within the team.”
• The All Blacks and Wales have played each other 34 times, with 31 wins to the All Blacks and three to Wales. Friday’s Bronze Final will be the fourth time the two teams have meet at the Rugby World Cup. They played in the Semi-Final of the 1987 RWC and in Pool Play in 1995 and 2003.
• All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen was the Wales coach at the 2003 Tournament and is in the unique position of having coached both the All Blacks and Wales against each other at a Rugby World Cup.
• Captain Kieran Read will become the second most capped All Blacks Captain on Friday when he leads the side for the 52nd time. He is behind Richie McCaw, who captained the All Blacks 110 times.
• Prop Angus Ta’avao will have played every Test this year for the All Blacks – 11 in total.
• Beauden Barrett has scored 644 points in Tests for the All Blacks and is fourth on the all-time scoring list, just one point behind Grant Fox who is on third place on 645. Andrew Mehrtens is second on 967 points and Dan Carter leads the list on 1,598 points.
The All Blacks and Wales have a rich history, dating back to 1905 and the rivalry is set to fire on Friday night in the third and fourth playoff match in Tokyo.
We crunch the numbers ahead of their Rugby World Cup 2019 finale.
66: That’s the number of year’s it’s been since Wales last beat the All Blacks. Their last victory came on 19 December 1953. The All Blacks are on a 30-game winning streak.
34: The two sides have met 34 times, with the All Blacks winning 31 of those.
3: The All Blacks and Wales have come up against each other on three previous occasions at the Rugby World Cup. The 1987 semifinal and in pool play in 1995 and 2003.
51: The number of times Kieran Read has captained the All Blacks.
133: Alun Wyn Jones is now the most-capped Wales player ever. He’s played 133 Tests for his country and overtook the previous record of 129 held by Gethin Jenkins against Australia on 29 September 2019.
90: Was the combined amount of points scored the last time these two sides played each other at a World Cup. The All Blacks won the 2003 Pool D match 53-37.
33: The number of tries Wales have scored against the All Blacks. In return, the All Blacks have scored 137 tries.
27: Dan Carter scored 27 points against Wales in 2010, the most points by an individual against Wales.
8: Sir John Kirwan is the All Black who has scored the most tries against Wales, with eight.
5: This is the biggest margin Wales have beaten the All Blacks by. That was in their last win back in 1953.
12: Warren Gatland has been at the helm of Welsh Rugby since 2007. He’s now in his 12th and final year. It’s the longest tenure ever by a Wales head coach.
108: Will be the number of times Steve Hansen will have coached the All Blacks after Friday’s match.
1070: The All Blacks have scored 1070 Test points against Wales, while the Welsh have scored 374.
114: It’s been 114 years since the first ever Test match between the All Blacks and Wales. It was on 16 December 1905 and Wales won the match 3-0 at Arms Park in Cardiff.
2017: The last time these two sides met was on 25 November 2017 at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. The All Blacks won 33-18. Fun fact: Wayne Barnes was the referee for this match in 2017 and he will officiate the bronze match on Friday night.