Preview of the first Test between New Zealand and Wales.
SATURDAY, June 11, 7.35pm
All Blacks v Wales at Eden Park
Head to Head: All Blacks 27 Wales 3
Last clash: All Blacks 34 Wales 16, at Millennium Stadium, November 22, 2014
The All Blacks have their first outing since retaining the World Cup and the departure of a clutch of experienced campaigners, including all-time greats Richie McCaw and Dan Carter. Wales have been boosted by the return from injury of skipper Sam Warburton, but will have history firmly against them – their last win over New Zealand was in 1953.
Keys: The Welsh can be expected to use their highly experienced duo of Jamie Roberts and Jonathan Davies to target the opposition midfield and there are likely to be high-ball tests for the All Blacks’ back three. But New Zealand’s pace of play and finishing power out wide should prove decisive on a ground where they haven’t lost since 1994.
NEW ZEALAND: Ben Smith, Waisake Naholo, Malakai Fekitoa, Ryan Crotty, Julian Savea, Aaron Cruden, Aaron Smith, Kieran Read (capt), Sam Cane, Jerome Kaino, Brodie Retallick, Luke Romano, Owen Franks, Dane Coles, Joe Moody. Reserves: Nathan Harris, Wyatt Crockett, Charlie Faumuina, Patrick Tuipulotu, Ardie Savea, TJ Perenara, Beauden Barrett, Seta Tamanivalu.
WALES: Liam Williams, George North, Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts, Hallam Amos, Dan Biggar, Rhys Webb, Taulupe Faletau, Sam Warburton (capt), Ross Moriarty, Alun Wyn Jones, Bradley Davies, Samson Lee, Ken Owens, Gethin Jenkins. Reserves: Scott Baldwin, Rob Evans, Tomas Francis, Jake Ball, Ellis Jenkins, Gareth Davies, Gareth Anscombe, Scott Williams.
Tip: All Blacks by 20 points