Five All Black debutants to play Argentina on Sunday

Five debutants will take on Argentina for the All Blacks in their opening Rugby Championship Test in Buenos Aires on Sunday morning.

Crusaders winger Sevu Reece has been named on the right wing, while Chiefs prop Atu Moli, Chiefs loose forward Luke Jacobson, Highlanders first five Josh Ioane and Crusaders back Braydon Ennor are all in the reserves.

Ngani Laumape and Anton Leinert-Brown form the midfield with Jordie Barrett on the left wing.

With most of the Crusaders missing the trip to Argentina, the front row is made up of Ofa Tuungafasi, Dane Coles and Angus Ta'avao.

Flanker Sam Cane will captain the side for the third time.


All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said Reece, who was found guilty of assaulting his partner and discharged without conviction last year, has earned his place and they want to see if he can cope at test level.

"Sevu is a guy who we didn't know a lot about and as the season has gone on he's just got better and better as a player and as a person.

"We got interested enough to say 'hey we need to keep looking at this guy' and then we went past that point and said 'look we're going to have to pick him' and now we want to find out, along with Braydon (Ennor) and the other debutants, if he can take the next step."

Hansen said first-five Josh Ioane hasn't been picked just as a development player and he's confident the rookie is ready for test rugby.

Hansen believes Ioane can handle the pressure of providing cover for star first-five Beauden Barrett, despite having played just one season of Super Rugby.

"We've got a lot of confidence in Josh. If you're going to put him on the bench as your number two, number 10, then you've got to believe in him and we do. I think if he gets the opportunity he'll go ok."

Hansen added: "We have the utmost respect for Argentina. We know that we'll be facing a confident, physical side.

"Their players will have taken a lot of confidence and self-belief from the Jaguares Super Rugby season, and with the inclusion of their overseas players, there will be added excitement to their group. They will see this game as a massive opportunity to make a statement and it will be our job to make a statement of our own."

All Blacks matchday 23 (* = new cap):

1. Ofa Tuungafasi (26)

2. Dane Coles (60)

3. Angus Ta'avao (3)

4. Brodie Retallick (75)

5. Patrick Tuipulotu (21)

6. Vaea Fifita (9)

7. Sam Cane - captain (58)

8. Ardie Savea (35)

9. Aaron Smith (82)

10. Beauden Barrett (73)

11. Jordie Barrett (9)

12. Ngani Laumape (10)

13. Anton Lienert-Brown (33)

14. Sevu Reece *

15. Ben Smith (72)

16. Liam Coltman (4)

17. Atu Moli *

18. Nepo Laulala (17)

19. Jackson Hemopo (3)

20. Luke Jacobson *

21. Brad Weber (1)

22. Josh Ioane *

23. Braydon Ennor *