All Blacks: Two changes to face Argentina

Andrew Hore is one of two changes to the All Blacks team to face Argentina on Sunday morning (NZT). Photo / Getty
Andrew Hore is one of two changes to the All Blacks team to face Argentina on Sunday morning (NZT). Photo / Getty

Hooker Andrew Hore returns to All Black action in one of two changes to the side to play Argentina at La Plata on Sunday.

The other alteration comes at first five eighths where a repaired Aaron Cruden suits up because Daniel Carter is out with a shoulder injury until the tour to Europe.

Young hooker Dane Coles played the All Blacks last test against South Africa giving Hore some respite after four successive internationals.

"We are very happy with where Dane is at and with his performances of late," coach Steve Hansen said.

"But like a lot of the young players, we are also mindful of managing their game time as part of their development so have brought in Andrew to start this week."

That reintroduction gives the All Blacks a combined test tally of 809 caps with eleven of the team backing up from their huge victory in Argentina last year.

The only starting absentees from that 54-15 triumph are Cory Jane, Carter, Richie McCaw and Luke Romano. Their places this time go to Ben Smith, Cruden, Sam Cane and Brodie Retallick.

"This game has huge significance with regard to us having any chance of winning the Investec Rugby Championship," Hansen said.

"Playing Argentina at home is never an easy assignment so we have worked hard on, firstly, our recovery on arrival and, secondly, our preparation throughout the week. We know that we will have to be physically on top of our game and strategically smart.

"As always, we are expecting a huge challenge from the Argentina and a very vocal crowd but everyone is looking forward to embracing this challenge.

"The city of La Plata has had its difficulties since we were here last, with the flooding, so it is an opportunity for both teams to bring something positive to the region."

Meanwhile, All Blacks flanker Matt Todd has been ruled out of rugby for six months after surgery to repair a torn chest muscle.

All Blacks team to play Argentina on Sunday morning (NZT):
Israel Dagg, Ben Smith, Conrad Smith, Ma'a Nonu, Julian Savea, Aaron Cruden, Aaron Smith, Kieran Read (Capt), Sam Cane, Liam Messam, Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick, Owen Franks, Andrew Hore, Tony Woodcock. Reserves: Keven Mealamu, Wyatt Crockett, Charlie Faumuina, Jeremy Thrush, Steven Luatua, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Beauden Barrett, Charles Piutau.

- NZ Herald

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