8 Sep 2016

Crotty back in All Blacks lineup

5:20 am on 8 September 2016

Second five Ryan Crotty returns to the All Black starting lineup for Saturday's Rugby Championship game against Argentina in Hamilton.

The All Blacks second-five Ryan Crotty.

The All Blacks second-five Ryan Crotty. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

That is the only change in the starting fifteen from the side that beat Australia in Wellington, while Anton Lienert-Brown drops to the reserves, where hooker Codie Taylor and lock Luke Romano have also been named.

Crotty missed the Wellington game because of a head knock.

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: "In selecting this team, we felt there was the need for consistency. The squad is five games into re-establishing themselves on the international stage and we felt that it would not be right to make a lot of changes.

"We know we'll be facing a completely different challenge this week. Argentina will bring their traditional physicality up front and flair in the backs and we will have to be ready for whatever they throw at us.

"They have shown in their time in the Investec Rugby Championship, and especially in their two recent Tests against South Africa, that they are a very good side and will bring their own unique challenges.

"We have worked hard during the early part of the week on getting reconnected as a group, getting the understanding of our roles cemented, and getting our mental attitude right. We'll need to be right on top of our game, both mentally and physically, and play the game with real accuracy, if we are to prevail on Saturday."

The matchday 23 is (with Test caps in brackets):

1. Joe Moody (15)

2. Dane Coles (41)

3. Owen Franks (82)

4. Brodie Retallick (52)

5. Samuel Whitelock (77)

6. Jerome Kaino (71)

7. Sam Cane (36)

8. Kieran Read - captain (89)

9. Aaron Smith (52)

10. Beauden Barrett (41)

11. Julian Savea (45)

12. Ryan Crotty (19)

13. Malakai Fekitoa (17)

14. Israel Dagg (53)

15. Ben Smith (53)

16. Codie Taylor (5)

17. Wyatt Crockett (50)

18. Charlie Faumuina (38)

19. Luke Romano (24)

20. Ardie Savea (4)

21. TJ Perenara (21)

22. Aaron Cruden (41)

23. Anton Lienert-Brown (1)

All Blacks v Argentina - key facts

* The All Blacks have played Argentina 22 times, with 21 wins to the All Blacks and one draw. The most recent Test was the Pool Play Test at Rugby World Cup 2015, which the All Blacks won 26 -16.

* All Blacks Captain Kieran Read will play his 90th Test match on Saturday while prop Owen Franks will play his 83rd, becoming the 10th equal most capped All Blacks player (alongside hooker Andrew Hore). If Franks doesn't score a try on Saturday, he will equal Italian prop Salvatore Perugini's record of playing the most international Tests without scoring a try.

The Rugby Championship - All Blacks Tests

1. Australia 8 All Blacks 42, Saturday 20 August, ANZ Stadium, SYDNEY

2. All Blacks 29 Australia 9, Saturday 27 August, Westpac Stadium, WELLINGTON

3. vs. ARGENTINA. Saturday 10 Sept, 7.35PM, FMG Stadium Waikato, HAMILTON

4. vs. SOUTH AFRICA. Saturday 17 Sept, 7.35PM, AMI Stadium, CHRISTCHURCH

5. vs. ARGENTINA. Saturday 1 Oct, 7.10PM, Estadio Jose Amalfitani, BUENOS AIRES

6. vs. SOUTH AFRICA. Saturday 8 Oct, 5.05PM, Growthpoint Kings Park, DURBAN