All Blacks make two changes for second Test

6:00 PM BST

Waisake Naholo and Anton Lienert-Brown have been called in to the New Zealand starting lineup for Saturday’s second Test against the British & Irish Lions in Wellington.

Highlanders wing Naholo comes in to replace a concussed Ben Smith as Israel Dagg reverts to fullback while centre Lienert-Brown starts having entered the fray in the series-opening 30-15 victory at the expense of Ryan Crotty, who hobbled off with hamstring trouble.

All Blacks head coach Steven Hansen has named an otherwise unchanged XV with Codie Taylor, who claimed the opening try at Eden Park, continuing at hooker in the absence of Dane Coles.

On the bench, centre Ngani Laumape earns a place but Hurricanes teammate Julian Savea is once again omitted from the matchday squad.

Hansen said of his decisions: “Whilst it’s disappointing to lose both Ben Smith and Ryan Crotty, it creates an opportunity for others. ‘Izzy’ (Israel Dagg) is a world-class back three player, as is Anton in the midfield, and both Waisake and Ngani are coming into the Test side following outstanding performances against the Lions for their respective Super franchises.

“Whilst we were happy with the win last weekend, we know that it was just a start, in what is a three-test Series. That means the job is far from done. It’s going to require us to take our game to a higher level. It’s going to be very demanding, physically and mentally, on both sides.”

All Blacks: Dagg, Naholo, Lienert-Brown, Williams, Ioane, B Barrett, Smith; Moody, Taylor, Franks, Retallick, Whitelock, Kaino, Cane, Read (C).

Replacements: Harris, Crockett, Faumuina, S Barrett, A Savea, Perenara, Cruden, Laumape

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