All Blacks name team to face Fiji in Dunedin, Smith captain

Author
NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Thu, 8 Jul 2021, 11:36AM
Aaron Smith will captain the All Blacks against Fiji. (Photo / Getty)
Aaron Smith will captain the All Blacks against Fiji. (Photo / Getty)

All Blacks name team to face Fiji in Dunedin, Smith captain

Author
NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Thu, 8 Jul 2021, 11:36AM

Ian Foster has named his All Blacks side to face Fiji in Dunedin on Saturday night.

It will be a special night for halfback Aaron Smith, who will captain the All Blacks for the first time in his 98th test, and rookie prop Ethan de Groot, who has been named on the bench.

On Smith’s captaincy, All Blacks Head Coach Ian Foster said: “Aaron is a special player with real mana and a natural leader and his preparation is second to none. I’m sure he, his wife Teagan and his wider whānau will be proud of what he has achieved."

Foster also congratulated de Groot: “We also want to congratulate Ethan on his selection. It’ll be a great occasion for him and his family and friends and we look forward to seeing him play."

On Fiji, Foster said “The Fijian team will bring a very different challenge from Tonga. They are a more established side made up of primarily overseas-based players, who are amongst some of the better players in Europe.

We can’t wait to play under the roof at Forsyth Barr Stadium. It should be a fast, physical match and our team are excited by what the weekend will bring.” 

All Blacks team:

George Bower (1)

Codie Taylor (56)

Nepo Laulala (29)

Patrick Tuipulotu (37)

Brodie Retallick (81)

Shannon Frizell (13)

Ethan Blackadder (1)

Hoskins Sotutu (5)

Aaron Smith (97) - captain

Beauden Barrett (89)

George Bridge (11)

David Havili (3)

Rieko Ioane (35)

Sevu Reece (8)

Jordie Barrett (24)

 

Reserves:

Dane Coles (75)

Ethan de Groot – new cap

Tyrel Lomax (7)

Samuel Whitelock (123)

Luke Jacobson (3)

Finlay Christie (1)

Damian McKenzie (28)

Will Jordan (3)

Newstalk ZB will have LIVE commentary of the All Blacks vs. Fiji from Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin.

Kick off 7.05pm Saturday 10 July.