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PREVIEW: ALL BLACKS V ENGLAND (DUNEDIN)

PREVIEW: ALL BLACKS V ENGLAND (DUNEDIN)

The All Blacks kick off their 2024 campaign with a highly anticipated clash against England in the opening Steinlager Ultra Low Carb Test of the year under the roof in Dunedin.
Match Details: All Blacks v England, Saturday 6 July, 7.05pm NZT, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin.

Played: 43
Won: All Blacks 33, England 8, Drawn 2
Last time: 25-25, 19 November 2022, Twickenham
Referee: Nika Amashukeli (Georgia)

NEW ERA DAWNS
It’s a new era for the All Blacks with new coach Scott Roberston leading the team for the first time. With veteran players Brodie Retallick, Sam Whitelock, Aaron Smith, Dane Coles and Richie Mo’unga all retired or plying their trade overseas, it really is the start of a new era for the All Blacks. Scott Barrett has taken over the captaincy mantle with Ardie Savea and Jordie Barrett acting as co-vice captains. The All Blacks will also look different on the field with a new adidas jersey featuring the return of the white collar celebrating the 25-year partnership between adidas and New Zealand Rugby.

COMEBACK KIDS
One of the talking points of the All Blacks match-day 23 is the return of halfback TJ Perenara and right wing Sevu Reece to the side. Perenara and Reece have both overcome serious injury setbacks to earn their respective places in the starting lineup. At 32-years-old, Perenara is set to play his first Test in nearly two years after rupturing his Achilles during the All Blacks 25-25 draw with England in London in 2022. Reece, who was Super Rugby Pacific’s top try scorer this year, is also in line to play his first Test since 2022, after missing most of the 2023 season when he ruptured his ACL playing for the Crusaders.

CARLING’S CALL
Former England captain Will Carling has been impressed by England’s expansive style of play under coach Steve Borthwick and believes that England will need to embrace that style fully if they are to have any hope of upsetting the All Blacks in New Zealand for the first time since 2003. Watch the full interview on the All Blacks Podcast below.

RAZOR’S WORD
“This was a very tough squad to pick, but we’ve selected the best 23 players to beat England on Saturday,” Robertson said. “There is a lot of excitement in the group for our first Test and we’re walking together toward this opportunity to represent New Zealand and our families in Dunedin in front of a sold out stadium. We’ve prepared well and we’re ready.”

LAST TIME
The All Blacks and England played out a thrilling 25-25 draw when they last met back in 2022 at Twickenham. Catch extended highlights of the game below.

TEAMS
All Blacks (Test caps in brackets)
1. Ethan de Groot (22) 2. Codie Taylor (85) 3. Tyrel Lomax (32) 4. Scott Barrett (69) (Captain) 5. Patrick Tuipulotu (43) 6. Samipeni Finau (1) 7. Dalton Papali’i (32) 8. Ardie Savea (81) (Vice Captain) 9. TJ Perenara (80) 10. Damian McKenzie (47) 11. Mark Tele’a (9) 12. Jordie Barrett (57) (Vice Captain) 13. Rieko Ioane (67) 14. Sevu Reece (23) 15. Stephen Perofeta (3)
Reserves: 16. Asafo Aumua (6) 17. Ofa Tu’ungafasi (57) 18. Fletcher Newell (13) 19. Tupou Vaa’i (25) 20. Luke Jacobson (18) 21. Finlay Christie (21) 22. Anton Lienert-Brown (70) 23. Beauden Barrett (123)

England:
1.Joe Marler, 2. Jamie George (Captain), 3. Will Stuart, 4. Maro Itoje, 5. George Martin, 6. Chandler Cunningham-South, 7. Sam Underhill, 8. Ben Earl, 9. Alex Mitchell, 10. Marcus Smith, 11. Tommy Freeman, 12. Ollie Lawrence, 13. Henry Slade, 14. Immanuel Feyi-Waboso, 15. George Furbank.
Reserves: 16. Theo Dan, 17. Fin Baxter, 18. Dan Coles, 19. Alex Coles, 20. Tom Curry, 21. Ben Spencer, 22. Fin Smith, 23. Ollie Sleightholme.

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