Three Barrett brothers make All Blacks history

Beauden, Jordie, and Scott Barrett will become the first trio of brothers to start a Test together for the All Blacks when they line up in the series-opener against France at Auckland’s Eden Park on Saturday.

Beauden Barrett

Beauden will take his regular place at fly-half, Scott will replace the injured Brodie Retallick at lock and Jordie will play his third test at fullback in a backline reorganised because of injuries.

Jordie’s chance comes with the selectors’ unexpected decision to move Ben Smith from full-back to the right wing in place of Waisake Naholo.

Ryan Crotty and Anton Lienert-Brown will combine in midfield in a partnership dictated by the absence through injury of Sonny Bill Williams.

The forward pack also includes a pair of brothers. Sam Whitelock will captain the team for the second time from lock and Luke Whitelock will make his third Test appearance at No. 8 in place of regular skipper Kieran Read, who is recovering from back surgery. Liam Squire will play on the blindside flank and Sam Cane, despite injury concerns, has been selected on the openside in one of the least experienced All Blacks back-rows in recent years.

Uncapped prop Karl Tu’inukuafe has been included in the reserves, marking a spectacular rise for a player in his first season of Super Rugby.

Tu’inukuafe was only called up by the Hamilton-based Chiefs after injuries to front-rowers. He considered giving up rugby four years ago when he weighed 170 kilograms (375 pounds) and he was ordered by a doctor to lose weight.

Meanwhile, Willie le Roux and Faf de Klerk have been named in South Africa’s starting XV for the first Test against England at Ellis Park on Saturday.

Wasps full-back Le Roux and Sale scrum-half De Klerk have been star performers in the Aviva Premiership this season and, alongside Duane Vermeulen — who has just left Toulon — are the only European-based players present. It will be the first time Le Roux and De Klerk have played for the Springboks since 2016. Tendai Mtawarira, Bongi Mbonambi, and Trevor Nyakane form South Africa’s first all-black starting front row, while flanker Siya Kolisi is their first black Test captain.

SOUTH AFRICA (v England):

W le Roux; S Nkosi, L Am, D de Allende, A Dyantyi; H Pollard, F de Klerk; D Vermeulen, J du Preez, S Kolisi (capt); F Mostert, RG Snyman; T Nyakane/W Louw, B Mbonambi, T Mtawarira Replacements: A van der Merwe, S Kitshoff, W Louw/T du Toit, P du Toit, S Notshe, I van Zyl, E Jantjies, W Gelant.

ENGLAND:

E Daly; J May, H Slade, O Farrell, M Brown; G Ford, B Youngs; M Vunipola, J George, K Sinckler, M Itoje, N Isiekwe, C Robshaw, T Curry, B Vunipola Replacements: L Cowan-Dickie, J Marler, H Williams, B Shields, N Hughes, B Spencer, P Francis, D Solomona.

WALES (v Argentina):

H Amos; J Adams, S Williams, H Parkes, G North; R Patchell, G Davies; W Jones, E Dee, D Lewis, A Beard, C Hill (capt), S Davies, J Davies, R Moriarty.

Replacements:

R Elias, R Evans, T Francis, J Turnbull, A Wainwright, A Davies, G Anscombe, O Watkin.

NEW ZEALAND (v France):

J Barrett, B Smith, AL Brown, R Crotty, R Ione, B Barrett, J Moody, C Taylor, O Franks, S Whitelock, S Barrett, L Squire, S Cane, L Whitelock.

Replacements:

N Harris, K Tu’inukuafe, O Tuungafasi, V Fifita, A Savea, TJ Perenara, D McKenzie, N Laumape.

FRANCE:

M Médard, T Thomas, M Bastareaud (c), G Doumayrou, R Grosso,A Belleau, M Parra, D Priso, C Chat, U Atonio, P Gabrillagues, Y Maestri, J Cancoriet, K Gourdon, F Sanconnie.

Replacements:

A Pélissié, C Baille, R Slimani, B Le Roux, A Lapandry, B Serin, J Plisson, G Fickou.


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