Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Cane-led All Blacks launch new XV for Italy trial in Rome

ROME (NWN) – Rehabbed flanker Sam Kane will captain a completely redesigned New Zealand team against Italy in their rugby Test at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday.

Of the 23 days of the match that defeated Wales 54–16 in Cardiff last weekend, five were selected to start the reserve: prop Tyrell Lomax, Locke Taupo Wye, scrumhalf Brad Webber, flyhalf Richie Mo’eunga. and Wing Savu Reis.

Three starts against Wales – locking Sam Whitlock and supporting David Havily and Jordi Barrett – are in reserve.

Last year, All Blacks captain Kane started with an armband in his current comeback after seven months with pectoral and shoulder injuries.

The All Blacks have rested their front-line players for tough tour matches against Ireland and France, but still chose a strong side to maintain their unbeaten 15 Test record against Italy.

Mo’unga pivoted most of the backline separating the United States 104-14 two Saturdays ago.

Coach Ian Foster has also added 21-year-old YE and 20-year-old Josh Lord, who made his debut against the US.

“Tupo is a quality footballer and we have seen more signs of it in the last two weeks, while Josh has learned things quickly on his first tour and is really clear in training,” Foster said.

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Former All Blacks, the first selection of Italy’s new coach Kieran Crowley also marks the first outing as captain for flanker Michele Lamaro.

Crowley has gone for the experience, recalling three years for Locke Marco Fusser when Italy last met the All Blacks, two years later for No. 8 Renato Giamarioli, and a year later for fullback Matteo Minozzi.

The reserves include uncapped Argentine-born prop Ivan Neymar from Benetton.

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Lineup:

Italy: Matteo Minozzi, Federico Mori, Juan Ignacio Breaux, Marco Zanone, Montana Ione, Paolo Garbisi, Stephen Varney; Renato Giamarioli, Mitchell Lamaro (c), Sebastian Negri, David Sissi, Marco Fusar, Marco Riccioni, Gianmarco Luchesi, Danilo Fischetti. Reserves: Luca Biggie, Ivan Neymar, Pietro Cecarelli, Niccol Cannon, Federico Ruza, Abraham Steyn, Callum Breli, Carlo Cana.

New Zealand: Damien McKenzie, Savu Rees, Braydon Enner, Quinn Tupia, George Bridges, Richie Mo’Eunga, Brad Webber; Hoskins Sotutu, Sam Kane (c), Luke Jacobson, Josh Lord, Taupo Wye, Tyrell Lomax, Dane Coles, George Bower. Reserves: Asafo Aumua, Ethan de Groot, Ofa Tungfasi, Sam Whitlock, Shannon Frizzell, Finlay Christie, David Haviley, Jordi Barrett.

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More NWN Sports: https://apnews.com/hub/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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