Perofeta to Start for All Blacks in First Test Against England

Perofeta to Start for All Blacks in First Test Against England

New Zealand vs. England First Test
Date: Saturday, 6 July
Kick-off: 08:05 BST
Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Coverage: Commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Sounds, live text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app.

Full-back Stephen Perofeta will start for New Zealand against England in the first match of their two-Test series on Saturday in Dunedin. The 27-year-old, who has earned three caps, is chosen over the experienced Beauden Barrett, a 2015 Rugby World Cup winner with 123 caps, who will start on the bench.

New head coach Scott Robertson has opted for Damian McKenzie at fly-half, with TJ Perenara, returning from an Achilles injury, as his half-back partner. This match will also mark Scott Barrett’s debut as the new All Blacks captain.

This is Robertson’s first squad selection since he took over as head coach in November, replacing Ian Foster, who led the team to the 2023 World Cup final, where they narrowly lost to South Africa.

Robertson cited Perofeta’s outstanding performance for Auckland’s Blues in their Super Rugby title run as a key factor in his selection. “The experience of 123 Tests counts for a lot, but Stephen Perofeta is also in great form, good with the high ball, and playing excellent rugby,” Robertson stated. “Just two weeks ago, he was playing at a Test-match level in a final. Having Beauden Barrett on the bench is a tremendous asset, as he can cover both 10 and 15.”

The second Test against England will take place on 13 July at Eden Park in Auckland. Steve Borthwick’s England aims to make history by securing their first-ever Test series win in New Zealand.

New Zealand XV to face England:
S Perofeta; S Reece, R Ioane, J Barrett, M Tele’a; D McKenzie, T Perenara; E de Groot, C Taylor, T Lomax, S Barrett (capt), P Tuipulotu, S Finau, D Papali’i, A Savea.
Replacements: A Aumua, O Tu’ungafasi, F Newell, T Vaa’i, L Jacobson, F Christie, A Lienert-Brown, B Barrett.


No comments yet. Why don’t you start the discussion?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *