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Retallick makes return as Jordie Barrett starts at 10 for the All Blacks

The world-class second row has been sidelined since late July.

JORDIE BARRETT starts at out-half for the All Blacks and lock Brodie Retallick returns from a 10-week injury lay-off for Sunday’s World Cup match against Namibia in Tokyo. 

Ben Smith has been restored as fullback and all three scrum-halves feature in the match-day 23 as coach Steve Hansen works to keep his entire 31-man squad match-fit to cover all eventualities in the knock-out stages. 

Only Barrett, Jack Goodhue, and Shannon Frizell are backing up from the side that started in the 63-0 win over Canada four days ago.

jordi-scott-and-beauden-barrett-before-the-game Jordie Barrett [left] starts at 10 for the All Blacks. Source: Photosport/Ashley Western/INPHO

The versatile Jordie Barrett, 22, the youngest of the three All Blacks brothers, will start in the 10 jersey for the first time in a Test although he has slotted in as first receiver at times in his previous 13 Tests.

“Jordie can play multiple positions in the backline and we’re confident that he’ll handle the responsibility well. He has all the skill sets required and we’re looking forward to seeing him play there,” Hansen said. 

With the twin playmaker pair Beauden Barrett and Richie Mo’unga being rested, scrum-half TJ Perenara will provide back-up for Jordie Barrett off the bench while Brad Weber will cover Aaron Smith who starts in the nine jersey. 

It also allows Ben Smith to return to his favoured fullback role after being pushed aside in recent Tests to make way for the Beauden Barrett-Mo’unga partnership.

Towering lock Retallick returns after being sidelined with a dislocated shoulder since the All Blacks’ Rugby Championship Test against South Africa in late July is a major boost for the Kiwis.

He is reunited in the second row with regular partner Sam Whitelock, who will captain the side while Kieran Read is rested.

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brodie-retallick-goes-off-injured Retallick is back for the All Blacks. Source: Photosport/Raghavan Venugopal/INPHO

“It’s great to have Brodie back,” Hansen said.  “There’s been some great work done by not only Brodie himself but also by the medical team. Obviously, Brodie is very excited to be in a position to pull the jersey back on. 

“In naming this team, we had to consider the short turnaround between the Canadian and Namibian games. We’ve managed to ensure that we’ve got plenty of fresh players starting this match. 

“Our preparation on-field this week is all about getting the balance right over the next two days. It’s a case of not too much and not too little, from a physical point of view.”

New Zealand (v Namibia):

15. Ben Smith
14. Sevu Reece
13. Jack Goodhue
12. Anton Lienert-Brown
11. George Bridge
10. Jordie Barrett
9. Aaron Smith

1. Joe Moody
2. Codie Taylor
3. Nepo Laulala
4. Brodie Retallick
5. Sam Whitelock (captain)
6. Shannon Frizell
7. Sam Cane
8. Ardie Savea

Replacements:

16. Dane Coles
17. Ofa Tu’ungafasi
18. Angus Ta’avao
19. Patrick Tuipulotu
20. Matt Todd
21. Brad Weber
22. TJ Perenara
23. Rieko Ioane

© – AFP, 2019  

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