Codie Taylor scored a try in New Zealand’s first Test victory over the Lions

Autumn Test: Scotland v New ZealandVenue: Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh Date: Saturday 18 November Kick-off: 17:15 GMTCoverage: BBC Two, Connected TV, online & the BBC Sport app & Radio Scotland 810MW & Radio 5 live Sports Extra

New Zealand have named a strong side to face Scotland on Saturday with just two changes to the 23 which beat France 38-18 in Paris last weekend.

Codie Taylor starts at hooker in place of the injured Dane Coles, who could be out for six months with a ruptured ACL.

Nathan Harris comes onto the bench, while Liam Squire also joins the replacements as one of two back-row options, along with Matt Todd.

Captain Kieran Read has shaken off a slight groin tightness to start.

Read is one of nine players in the side who started the opening game of the All Blacks’ drawn Test series with the British and Irish Lions last summer.

Squire impressed at blind-side as New Zealand’s second-string beat a French XV in Lyon on Tuesday.

But Vaea Fifita, on what will be his third Test start, retains the number six jersey and will also likely provide second-row cover, with no specialist lock on the bench.

‘Scotland will be a formidable opponent’

“This Test against Scotland will be an opportunity for this group of players to take on the challenge of raising the bar on the performance which was set down by their team-mates on Tuesday,” said head coach Steve Hansen.

“Scotland will be a formidable opponent who, from all indications, will be looking to play skilful rugby and an up-tempo game.

“We’ll need to meet this challenge head on and be prepared to empty the tank and exert our own pressure upon them through both our physicality, our own tempo in the game and executing our skills at the highest level.”

New Zealand have never lost to Scotland in 30 Tests dating back to 1905, with two draws between the countries.

Scotland have made prop Zander Fagerson and number eight Cornell du Preez replacing WP Nel and Ryan Wilson respectively.

New Zealand team: Damian McKenzie; Waisake Naholo, Ryan Crotty, Sonny Bill Williams, Rieko Ioane; Beauden Barrett, Aaron Smith; Kane Hames, Codie Taylor, Nepo Laulala, Luke Romano, Samuel Whitelock, Vaea Fifita, Sam Cane, Kieran Read (capt).

Replacements: Nathan Harris, Wyatt Crockett, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Liam Squire, Matt Todd, TJ Perenara, Lima Sopoaga, Anton Lienert-Brown.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here