Three things about the All Blacks side to face Wales

By Cameron McMillan

Steven Hansen has named his first All Blacks side of 2016. Cameron McMillan looks at three key stats you need to know.

Two news caps (on the bench)

There are no debutants in the starting XV but either Ardie Savea or Seta Tamanivalu will become the 1147th All Black. If/when Savea gets on the field he and brother Julian, starting on the left wing, will become the 43rd set of brothers to play for the All Blacks.

Experience lost, but still experience there

The All Blacks starting XV has a combined total of 580 test caps (an expected Wales XV will have more than 650). The six players who retired at the end of the World Cup had a combined 708 tests to their names (Richie McCaw 148, Keven Mealamu 133, Tony Woodcock 118, Dan Carter 112, Ma'a Nonu 103 and Conrad Smith 94). Nine players started in the Rugby World Cup final against Australia while Sam Cane, Beauden Barrett and Charlie Faumuina came off the bench at Twickenham.

Captain Read

Captain Kieran Read, who will play his 85th test this weekend, will be captaining the side for the tenth time. He captained his first test against Italy in 2012 and the All Blacks have a perfect record in his previous nine matches in charge, averaging a winning margin of 26 points. Sam Cane, starting next to Read in the scrum also captained the All Blacks at the World Cup last year.

Starting XV

1. Joe Moody (11 test caps)
2. Dane Coles (36)
3. Owen Franks (78)
4. Luke Romano (22)
5. Brodie Retallick (47)
6. Jerome Kaino (67)
7. Sam Cane (31)
8. Kieran Read - captain (84)
9. Aaron Smith (47)
10. Aaron Cruden (37)
11. Julian Savea (41)
12. Ryan Crotty (15)
13. Malakai Fekitoa (13)
14. Waisake Naholo (3)
15. Ben Smith (48)


16. Nathan Harris (2)
17. Wyatt Crockett (45)
18. Charlie Faumuina (33)
19. Patrick Tuipulotu (7)
20. Ardie Savea
21. TJ Perenara (17)
22. Beauden Barrett (36)
23. Seta Tamanivalu

- NZ Herald

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