Veteran All Blacks lock Sam Whitelock will draw level with Richie McCaw as New Zealand’s most-capped player in the World Cup clash with Namibia on Friday.
There are nine changes to the starting lineup from New Zealand’s opening loss to France. Only Nepo Laulala, Whitelock, Dalton Papali’i, captain Ardie Savea, Beauden Barrett and Anton Lienert-Brown retain their places from the side that played in Paris.
Whitelock will equal former captain McCaw as the most capped All Black in test history in his 148th match. He trails only Alun Wyn Jones (171) as the most capped player in word rugby.
Damian McKenzie will make his Rugby World Cup debut as he starts at flyhalf in place of Richie Mo’unga. McKenzie was ruled out of the 2019 tournament after suffering an injury to his Achilles in Super Rugby that year.
Rookie scrumhalf Cam Roigard and wing Caleb Clarke will also be making their first appearances at a World Cup. In his 19th test, Clarke requires one more try to equal his father Eroni’s test record for the All Blacks.
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