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All Blacks make 11 changes for final November Test against Italy

Ardie Savea, Kieran Read, Beauden Barrett, and Damien McKenzie are the only players to keep their places.

New Zealand: the All Blacks are at the end of a long season.
New Zealand: the All Blacks are at the end of a long season.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

NEW ZEALAND COACH Steve Hansen has rung the changes for Saturday’s Test against Italy, retaining only four of the side which lost to Ireland in Dublin.

Out-half Beauden Barrett and fullback Damien McKenzie are among the four to keep their places, with Hansen resisting calls to start the in-form Richie Mo’unga and sticking with his dual playmakers.

“That’s the three guys that we see at the moment that would most likely go to the World Cup, so getting them combining, either at the beginning of the game or during the course of the game, is important,” he said.

“We haven’t got too many games left so the more we play them together, the better it will be.”

Captain Kieran Read and Ardie Savea are the only other starters retained after the Ireland loss as Hansen opts to give some of his big names a break in the final match of the season against Italy.

Notable selections include Jordie Barrett on the right wing and Dane Coles returning as hooker in a new-look front row also featuring Nepo Laulala and Ofa Tuungafasi.

Hansen expects a strong defensive performance from Italy, saying the All Blacks could not allow them to dictate terms.

“Our goal will be to create quality set-piece ball and lightning quick ruck ball, coupled with a real accuracy in our decision-making so we can use our skillsets accordingly,” he said.

New Zealand

15. Damian McKenzie
14. Jordie Barrett
13. Anton Lienert-Brown
12. Ngani Laumape
11. Waisake Naholo
10. Beauden Barrett
9. TJ Perenara

1. Ofa Tuungafasi
2. Dane Coles
3. Nepo Laulala
4. Patrick Tuipulotu
5. Scott Barrett
6. Vaea Fifita
7. Ardie Savea
8. Kieran Read (capt)

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16. Nathan Harris
17. Karl Tu’inukuafe
18. Angus Ta’avao
19. Brodie Retallick
20. Dalton Papalii
21. Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi
22. Richie Mo’unga
23. Rieko Ioane

© AFP 2018 

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