Sevu Reece to make All Blacks debut against Argentina
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Last Updated: 18/07/19 2:45pm
Sevu Reece will make his first start for New Zealand when he starts on the wing against Argentina on Saturday.
The matchday 23 sees a blend of experience and youth with five uncapped players named in the 23-man squad. While Reece is the only debut to start, Atu Moli, Luke Jacobson, Josh Ioane and Braydon Ennor are all named and look set to make their impact off the bench in Buenes Aires.
Balancing that, is the experience of lock Brodie Retallick, captain Sam Cane at openside flanker, the inside paring of Aaron Smith and Beauden Barrett and Ben Smith at full-back.
All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen said the team has had a good week's preparation after travelling from New Zealand last weekend.
"As always, with the first game of the season, we've worked hard on building our relationships, re-establishing our connections and combinations and getting clarity in our roles. We'll continue to nail the details further in training throughout the week so that we are bright, clear and excited to play with real intensity come Saturday," Hansen said.
"It's going to be exciting to watch how the new All Blacks perform along with their more experienced team-mates. The team is a mixture of experience and raw enthusiasm, which I'm sure everyone is looking forward to seeing come together and play."
Hansen further added: "We have the utmost respect for Argentina. We know that we'll be facing a confident, physical side. Their players will have taken a lot of confidence and self-belief from the Jaguares Super Rugby season, and with the inclusion of their overseas players, there will be added excitement to their group. They will see this game as a massive opportunity to make a statement and it will be our job to make a statement of our own."
New Zealand: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Jordie Barrett, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 1 Ofa Tuungafasi, 2 Dane Coles, 3 Angus Ta'avao, 4 Brodie Retallick, 5 Patrick Tuipulotu, 6 Vaea Fifita, 7 Sam Cane (c), 8 Ardie Savea
Replacements: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Atu Moli, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Jackson Hemopo, 20 Luke Jacobson, 21 Brad Weber, 22 Josh Ioane, 23 Braydon Ennor