Ngani Laumape and Sam Whitelock return to All Blacks team for Bledisloe 3

Ian Foster has named a strong All Blacks team for Bledisloe 3, with six changes to the matchday squad that beat Australia in Game 2 at Eden Park. With prop Nepo Laulala and back-rower Ardie Savea both on paternity leave and unavailable for the ANZ Stadium clash, the All Blacks have promoted Hoskins Sotutu to […]

Ngani Laumape and Sam Whitelock return to All Blacks team for Bledisloe 3

Ian Foster has named a strong All Blacks team for Bledisloe 3, with six changes to the matchday squad that beat Australia in Game 2 at Eden Park.

With prop Nepo Laulala and back-rower Ardie Savea both on paternity leave and unavailable for the ANZ Stadium clash, the All Blacks have promoted Hoskins Sotutu to the starting side at number eight, bringing potential debutant Dalton Papalii and Tyrel Lomax onto the bench as reserve loose forward and front-rower respectively.

“He’s had plenty of minutes already in the Bledisloe Cup series and he’s ready to go,” Foster said of Sotutu, who has come off the bench in Games 1 and 2.

“He’s excited. It’s a chance to start his first Test so it’s pretty special for him.”

Sam Whitelock has overcome his concussion and returns to the starting second row, Tupou Vaa’i dropping out of side as a result, but Joe Moody has not recovered from his head knock. Karl Tu’inukuafe takes his place at prop.

The other changes comes on the bench, where barnstorming centre Ngani Laumape has been named. Laumape was a notable omission from the New Zealand World Cup squad, but makes his return to the side after injury hampered his 2020 domestic season.

He replaces Peter Umaga-Jensen amongst the reserves, while Reiko Ioane has also been added to the bench after being a late scratching for Eden Park with a minor hamstring strain. Ioane has forced Damian McKenzie out of the side.

All Blacks team for Bledisloe 3

1. Karl Tu’inukuafe
2. Dane Coles
3. Ofa Tuungafasi
4. Patrick Tuipulotu
5. Samuel Whitelock
6. Shannon Frizell
7. Sam Cane (c)
8. Hoskins Sotutu
9. Aaron Smith
10. Richie Mo’unga
11. Caleb Clarke
12. Jack Goodhue
13. Anton Lienert-Brown
14. Jordie Barrett
15. Beauden Barrett

Bench
16. Codie Taylor
17. Alex Hodgman
18. Tyrel Lomax
19. Scott Barrett
20. Dalton Papalii
21. TJ Perenara
22. Ngani Laumape
23. Rieko Ioane

Source : The Roar More