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Thread: All Blacks v Argentina 9 July 2023

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    All Blacks v Argentina 9 July 2023

    Winger Narawa to debut as All Blacks, Argentina confirm sides
    Fri, Jul 7, 2023, 7:36 AM
    Reuters


    Fiji-born wing Emoni Narawa will make his New Zealand debut in their Rugby Championship opener against Argentina in Mendoza on Saturday.

    Narawa will earn his first cap a few days shy of his 24th birthday, with Caleb Clarke on the other wing and Beauden Barrett at fullback.

    The versatile Damian McKenzie has been preferred to Richie Mo'unga in the number 10 jersey, though the latter is on the bench and may be being held back for the home game against South Africa in Auckland a week later.

    Rieko Ioane and Jordie Barrett make up the centre pairing in Mendoza, while halfback Aaron Smith will extend his record number of All Blacks caps for a back to 114.

    Lord will partner the third Barrett brother, Scott, in the second row, while in front of them are props Tyrel Lomax and Ethan de Groot, and hooker Dane Coles.

    "We have taken the need to build combinations in a vital year and balanced it with the need to manage the squad after Super Rugby," coach Ian Foster said.

    "This is obviously a massive year and we are really confident in the way that we've been building. We have had a short build-up but an effective one."

    "We have loved our time here in Mendoza for what will be a tremendous challenge," he said.

    "We've enjoyed seeing how excited everyone is for this weekend's game and can't wait to get stuck into our work."

    As for Argentina, prop Lucio Sordoni will make his first appearance for Argentina in almost three years in an otherwise settled team named by coach Michael Cheika.

    Sordoni, 24, has three caps and last played a test against New Zealand in 2020. He spent 14 months out of the game through injury, but gets a chance to stake a claim for a place in Cheika's Rugby World Cup squad.

    Otherwise, the team has a familiar look to it. Fullback Emiliano Boffelli continues his run of playing every test since Australian Cheika took over and will be key with the boot.

    Santiago Carreras has been preferred to Nicolas Sanchez at five-eighth and the team will be captained by hooker Julian Montoya.

    Cheika is missing suspended Marcos Kremer who will sit out the entire Rugby Championship.

    Argentina have beaten the All Blacks twice in the last three years, though both those matches were away in neutral Australia and last season in New Zealand. They have yet to record a win over them on home soil.

    New Zealand: Beauden Barrett, Emoni Narawa, Rieko Ioane, Jordie Barrett, Caleb Clarke, Damian McKenzie, Aaron Smith, Ardie Savea, Sam Cane (capt), Shannon Frizell, Josh Lord, Scott Barrett, Tyrel Lomax, Dane Coles, Ethan de Groot

    Replacements: Codie Taylor, Ofa Tu'ungafasi, Nepo Laulala, Tupou Vaa'i, Dalton Papali'i, Finley Christie, Richie Mo'unga, Braydon Ennor.

    Argentina: Emiliano Boffelli, Bautista Delguy, Matias Moroni, Lucio Cinti, Mateo Carreras, Santiago Carreras, Gonzalo Bertranou, Rodrigo Bruni, Juan Martin Gonzalez, Pablo Matera, Tomas Lavanini, Matias Alemanno, Lucio Sordoni, Julian Montoya (capt), Thomas Gallo

    Replacements: Augustin Creevy, Mayco Vivas, Eduardo Bello, Pedro Rubiolo, Sanriago Grondona, Lautaro Bazan Velez, Nicolas Sanchez, Matias Orlando.

    https://www.rugby.com.au/news/winger...m-sides-202376

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    Things are going pretty well when you can afford to bench Mo'unga and have Barrett at #15...

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    Interesting Hoiles has picked the Pumas!

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