4 Oct 2019

ABs get Retallick back, new first five for Namibia

4:18 pm on 4 October 2019

Lock Brodie Retallick will make an early return from injury for the All Blacks at the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Brodie Retallick.

Brodie Retallick. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Retallick has been named to start in a revamped side to take on Namibia in Tokyo on Sunday.

The Chiefs lock injured his shoulder in a match against South Africa at the end of July and wasn't expected to return until the quarterfinals of the World Cup.

There are 12 changes to the starting 15 from Wednesday's 63-0 win over Canada.

Jordie Barrett has been named to start at first five for the first time, with second-choice halfback TJ Perenara named on the bench as the back-up number 10.

Captain Kieran Read has been rested for the match, with Ardie Savea starting in the number eight jersey.

Lock Sam Whitelock will lead the All Blacks for the sixth time in Read's absence.

All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen said the selectors considered the short turnaround between the Canadian and Namibian games in naming their team.

"We're very happy with where we are at after our first two games.

"However, the expectations going into the match on Sunday don't change. We need to keep improving. In all games it's important to nail the mental self-preparation, as it's not about who you're playing, it's about your own personal standards.

"Our preparation on-field this week is all about getting the balance right over the next two days. It's a case of not too much and not too little, from a physical point of view."

The starting front row is Joe Moody, Codie Taylor and Nepo Laulala, with Ofa Tuungafasi, Angus Ta'avao and Dane Coles coming off the bench.

Patrick Tuipulotu is back up lock to Retallick and Whitelock, while the starting loose forward trio of Shannon Frizell at six, Sam Cane at seven and Ardie Savea in the eight jersey will be supported from the bench by Matt Todd.

In the backs, Aaron Smith starts at nine, inside Jordie Barrett, Anton Lienert-Brown and Jack Goodhue, while the back three are George Bridge, Sevu Reece and Ben Smith at fullback.

As well as Perenara, Brad Weber and Rieko Ioane provide back cover.

Hansen said it was great to have Retallick back, and was optimistic about what Jordie Barrett could do at first five.

"There's been some great work done by not only Brodie himself but also by the medical team.

"Jordie can play multiple positions in the backline and we're confident that he'll handle the responsibility well.

"He has all the skillsets required and we're looking forward to seeing him play there."

The matchday 23:

1. Joe Moody

2. Codie Taylor

3. Nepo Laulala

4. Brodie Retallick

5. Samuel Whitelock - captain

6. Shannon Frizell

7. Sam Cane

8. Ardie Savea

9. Aaron Smith

10. Jordie Barrett

11. George Bridge

12. Anton Lienert-Brown

13. Jack Goodhue

14. Sevu Reece

15. Ben Smith

16. Dane Coles

17. Ofa Tuungafasi

18. Angus Ta'avao

19. Patrick Tuipulotu

20. Matt Todd

21. Brad Weber

22. T J Perenara

23. Rieko Ioane