News

Quarter-Final team named to face France at RWC 2015

01:05:00, Fri 16 Oct 2015 New Zealand Rugby

The All Blacks side to play France in their Rugby World Cup 2015 quarterfinal at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, on Saturday 17 October (Kick-off: 8.00PM) has been named.

The team is (with Test caps in brackets):

Starting XV

1. Wyatt Crockett (44)
2. Dane Coles (33)
3. Owen Franks (75)
4. Brodie Retallick (44)
5. Samuel Whitelock (70)
6. Jerome Kaino (64)
7. Richie McCaw (145) - captain
8. Kieran Read (81)
9. Aaron Smith (44)
10. Daniel Carter (109)
11. Julian Savea (38)
12. Ma'a Nonu (100)
13. Conrad Smith (91)
14. Nehe Milner-Skudder (5)
15. Ben Smith (45)

Reserves

16. Keven Mealamu (129)
17. Joe Moody (8)
18. Charlie Faumuina (30)
19. Victor Vito (31)
20. Sam Cane (28)
21. Tawera Kerr-Barlow (18)
22. Beauden Barrett (33)
23. Sonny Bill Williams (30)

The team features the call-up of specialist loosehead prop Joe Moody, who has had a whirlwind few days; named on the bench for a Rugby World Cup quarterfinal just four days after arriving in the UK as a replacement for the injured Tony Woodcock.  Moody will play his ninth Test off the bench, after playing eight Tests in the black jersey in 2014.

With Moody on the bench, Wyatt Crockett takes over the starting loosehead duties from Woodcock. Meanwhile, All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw returns to the starting XV along with lock Brodie Retallick and wing Julian Savea.

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: "We're exactly where we want to be - playing a quarterfinal at Millennium Stadium. It's finals footy and we're hugely excited by that. We're a team that enjoys a challenge, we've had a great week's preparation and it's now about putting it out on the park.

"This team has always been about making its own history.  We've known for a long time that this match-up may be a possibility and we're really looking forward to it.  There are not many better places to play than a packed Millennium Stadium."

Hansen added: "All Blacks - French Tests are always intense affairs and we expect this weekend to be no different.  The French will be very physical and both teams have plenty to play for. We're at the time in the Tournament where the big boys have to step up to the plate and the team that does this the best will move through to the next round.  It's as simple as that. We can't wait."

The All Blacks matchday 23 for the Test against France has an average age of 28 and has 1,295 Test caps of experience.