New Zealand have named Sonny Bill Williams and Damian McKenzie in their starting XV for the Test against England at Twickenham on Saturday, live on Sky Sports.

Williams is retained at centre, despite calls for him to be dropped due to a drop in form, while McKenzie starts at full-back.

Coach Steve Hansen is keen to employ two playmakers, with McKenzie set to work in tandem with fly-half Beauden Barrett.

He said: We think against sides that play a little differently than we do, having two playmakers makes it a lot harder for them to shut us down.

It also takes away the frustration of that person who is shut down when he’s out there solo. It takes that away because he’s got someone else to take a bit of the heat.

Elsewhere, Karl Tu’inukuafe starts in place of Joe Moody at loosehead prop, who tore his eyelid in training.

Jack Goodhue returns at centre after a bout of glandular fever, with Canterbury Crusaders team-mate Ryan Crotty moving to the bench.

Ardie Savea is retained at flanker, with Sam Cane continuing his comeback after breaking his neck last month.

Ahead of the All Blacks’ first trip to Twickenham for four years, Hansen said: England at home is always a massive challenge for anyone.

There’ll be 80,000 people there. For us it’s about making our own statement. To do that, we’ll need to bring our own intensity and accuracy to an even higher level.

New Zealand: 15. Damian McKenzie, 14. Ben Smith, 13. Jack Goodhue, 12. Sonny Bill Williams, 11. Rieko Ioane, 10. Beauden Barrett, 9. Aaron Smith; 1. Karl Tu’inukuafe, 2. Codie Taylor, 3. Owen Franks, 4. Sam Whitelock, 5. Brodie Retallick, 6. Liam Squire, 7. Ardie Savea, 8. Kieran Read (c).

Replacements: 16. Dane Coles, 17. Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 18. Nepo Laulala, 19. Scott Barrett, 20. Matt Todd, 21. TJ Perenara, 22. Richie Mo’unga, 23. Ryan Crotty.

#Followtherose this autumn with all of England’s Tests live on Sky Sports throughout November. The action continues on Saturday against New Zealand before clashes against Japan and Australia

(c) Sky News 2018: New Zealand name Sonny Bill Williams and Damian McKenzie in XV to face England

Comments

comments