All Blacks team for tomorrow's Test named

Posted July 07, 2017

The Lions, who have re-selected the same match-day 23 involved in last Saturday's victory, have advanced way beyond the point where a gallant series defeat would represent success.

New Zealand have not lost at Eden Park for 23 years and it will take an exceptional effort, better than last week's performance, for the Lions to topple them this time.

Unchanged Lions to become legends?

With the Test series level at one win each, the Lions will have all to play for when the final match against New Zealand takes place this Saturday (8 July), with the game kicking off at 8.35am United Kingdom time. I thought if I deserved to get picked then that's what would happen and I was delighted to get the nod for this game. Nearly 25 years ago - back on the 1993 tour of New Zealand - the Lions named an unchanged side in a tour that they would eventually lose 2-1.

And while a series victory for the Lions would be historic for Gatland's team, Hansen says it is not the defining moment for his All Blacks. His playing ability speaks for itself and inspires others, and he now joins a unique group of special All Blacks.

The changes announced by the selectors on Thursday have largely been forced by injuries and suspension.

New Zealand: J Barrett; I Dagg, A Lienert-Brown, N Lamaupe, J Savea; B Barrett, A Smith; J Moody, C Taylor, O Franks, B Retallick, S Whitelock, J Kaino, S Cane, K Read (capt).

All Blacks flyhalf Beauden Barrett slotted seven of 10 penalties to keep the world champions in the match despite being a man down after Sonny Bill Williams was sent off for a risky shoulder charge.

MUCH has been made of Sonny Bill Williams' shoulder charge on Anthony Watson and, for me, it was clearly a red card.

"But that's what every sacrifice you've made since you were a young kid and chose to be a rugby player is all about. games like this". Savea, boasting an impressive 46 tries from 53 Tests, is recalled from the wilderness to replace Ioane on the left. At times he was first receiver and I was pushed out so that was good.

Dagg also did not look comfortable at fullback in the second test and has returned to the wing, where he started the first test. Farrell runs a great line out the back of Jamie George, short ball, and the centre Ngani Lamaupe completely over-reads, goes to smash Farrell, front door pass, brilliant ball from Johnny and you don't stop Conor Murray from there. "It's the series we expected it to be as the Lions have quality players".

"We knew how desperate we had to be last week and we can go on and take it to another level".

"Hopefully we leave on Saturday having earned the respect of the New Zealand public and secured the future of the Lions".

"We've got to make sure that physically we are on it, mentally we are on it, we know our stuff and we can go into the game with clear heads and really attack it".

Steve Hansen has detected an anxiety in the general population ahead of the decider after the unsettling effect of a home Test loss last weekend, but the New Zealand coach issued a plea for calm.

With just 13 worldwide caps between them, Ngani Laumape and Anton Lienert-Brown will pair up at second-five and centre.