Retallick starts final ahead of Whitelock - New Zealand name team to play South Africa

Retallick starts final ahead of Whitelock - New Zealand name team to play South Africa

New Zealand head coach Ian Foster has named his match-day 23 to face South Africa at Stade de France on Saturday, with one change to the starting line-up from the semi-final against Argentina and one among the replacements. Brodie Retallick (pictured) comes into the second row in place of Sam Whitelock, who drops to the bench. Tight-head prop Nepo Laulala replaces Fletcher Newell on the bench.

1 Ethan de Groot
2 Codie Taylor
3 Tyrel Lomax
4 Brodie Retallick
5 Scott Barrett
6 Shannon Frizell
7 Sam Cane (c)
8 Ardie Savea
9 Aaron Smith
10 Richie Mo'unga
11 Mark Tele'a
12 Jordie Barrett
13 Rieko Ioane
14 Will Jordan
15 Beauden Barrett

16 Samisoni Taukei'aho
17 Tamaiti Williams
18 Nepo Laulala
19 Samuel Whitelock
20 Dalton Papali'i
21 Finlay Christie
22 Damian McKenzie
23 Anton Lienert-Brown

•    He has named the same starting back-line that lost to South Africa at Twickenham in August, but has made three changes among the forwards with the inclusion of Codie Taylor, Brodie Retallick and Shannon Frizell. 
•    There are 981 caps in the starting XV and four test centurions in the match-day 23.
•    There are five survivors from RWC 2015 final victory against Australia at Twickenham – Beauden Barrett, Brodie Retallick, Sam Whitelock, Aaron Smith and Sam Cane, who is now captain. 
•    Will Jordan has scored 31 tries in 30 tests for the All Blacks, reaching this total the quickest of any New Zealander ahead of Joe Rokocoko (34 games), Julian Savea (37 games), and Doug Howlett and Christian Cullen (both 38 games). 
•    He is on a four game try-scoring streak at RWC 2023 – only Jonah Lomu at RWC 1999 has ever scored in five-straight matches at a single tournament. 
•    He has equalled Jonah Lomu (1999), Bryan Habana (2007) and Julian Savea (2015) for most tries (8) in a single edition of the Rugby World Cup. However, none of these three previous players were able to score their ninth try in their final match of the tournament.  
•    Sam Whitelock is looking to become the first player to win three Rugby World Cups. He started in the 2011 and 2015 finals.  
•    Sam Cane has missed just three of his 50 tackle attempts at RWC 2023.  
•    This will be the third time Beauden Barrett has played the Springboks at a Rugby World Cup after their 2015 semi-final and 2019 pool match, but the first alongside brothers Scott and Jordie in the starting team. 
•    This will be the seventh time all three Barrett brothers have started against the Springboks since 2018, with just two wins from their previous six games. 
•    Beauden Barrett has only kicked three drop goals in his test career, against England in 2018 and 2022, and against Ireland in 2018. 
•    Richie Mo’unga has never kicked a drop goal in his test career. 
•    Mark Tele’a scored the first try of the tournament at this venue 50 days ago. Former All Black Michael Jones is the only player to score a try in both the first and last game of a single tournament, crossing against Italy in the opening match of 1987 and against France in the final. 
•    Telea has beaten a tournament-high 31 defenders from just 40 carries, and is averaging one line break every 6.7 carries. 
•    He made two line breaks and beat 11 defenders against the Springboks at Twickenham, making a team-high 122 metres from 13 carries.

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