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No place for Beauden Barrett in starting XV

Updated: Jul 5

The All Blacks have recalled Stephen Perofeta, Sevu Reece (picture) as well as Samipeni Finau and TJ Perenara
Stephen Perofeta (Left) and Sevu Reece are both starters for the All Blacks against England in Dunedin PHOTO: IMAGO/JOEL CARRETT

The All Blacks squad to face England in Dunedin will feature test recalls for halfback TJ Perenara, right wing Sevu Reece, blindside flanker Samipeni Finau and fullback Stephen Perofeta.

The side will also be captained by Crusaders lock Scott Barrett for the first time and coached by Scott Robertson, also for the first time, but their is no place in the starting XV for the captain's older brother, Beauden.


“This was a very tough squad to pick, but we’ve selected the best 23 players to beat England on Saturday,” said head coach Robertson.

“There is a lot of excitement in the group for our first test and we’re walking together toward this opportunity to represent New Zealand and our families in Dunedin in front of a sold out stadium. We’ve prepared well and we’re ready.”

The All Blacks squad has a collective 934 test caps in total, including new vice captains Ardie Savea (81 caps) and Jordie Barrett (57). An experienced backline includes centre Rieko Ioane (67 caps) and halves Perenara (80) and Damian McKenzie (47).

A dynamic reserve bench is a mix of youthful energy and experience with backs Anton Lienert-Brown and Beauden Barrett bringing a combined 193 test caps to the squad.

Perenara and Reece have both overcome serious injury setbacks to earn their respective places in the starting lineup.

At 32, Perenara is set to play his first test in nearly two years after rupturing his Achilles during the All Blacks 25-25 draw with England in London in 2022.

Reece, who was Super Rugby Pacific’s top try scorer this year, is also in line to play his first test since 2022, after missing most of the 2023 season when he ruptured his ACL playing for the Crusaders.

Perofeta is in line to add to his three test caps after being named at fullback, in what will also be his first test cap since 2022, when he came off the bench against Scotland in Edinburgh.

Finau has been named to wear the No 6 jersey for what would be his second test after debuting at Forsyth Barr Stadium in 2023, where he scored a try during the All Blacks dramatic 23-20 Bledisloe Cup win over Australia.

The All Blacks and England have played 43 times since 1905, with New Zealand winning 33. Their last clash was in 2022 at Twickenham, which ended in a 25-25 draw.

ALL BLACKS: Stephen Perofeta, Sevu Reece, Rieko Ioane, Jordie Barrett (vc), Mark Tele'a, Damian McKenzie, TJ Perenara, Ardie Savea (vc), Dalton Papali'i, Samipieni Finau, Patrick Tuipulotu, Scott Barrett (c), Tyrel Lomax, Codie Taylor, Ethan de Groot; Reserves: Asafo Aumua, Ofa Tu'ungafasi, Fletcher Newell, Tupou Vaa'i, Luke Jacobson, Finlay Christie, Anton Lienert-Brown, Beauden Barrett


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