Wednesday 21 August 2019

Read out for All Blacks as Wales ring changes

New Zealand's head coach Steve Hansen. Photo: PA
New Zealand's head coach Steve Hansen. Photo: PA

Andrew Baldock

New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen has adopted a philosophical approach to losing captain Kieran Read for tomorrow's clash against Wales in Cardiff.

The No 8, who has won more than 100 caps, is sidelined by a back injury, according to Hansen and he is replaced in the back row by Luke Whitelock, with his brother and lock Sam Whitelock skippering the side.

"He (Read) hurt his back today, so he is unavailable. He is resting up in his bedroom," Hansen said. "Kieran is like everyone else. If you are not available, it is an opportunity for someone else."

While Read is sidelined, wing Rieko Ioane, who starred against the Lions this year, has recovered from a shoulder injury. One other injury-enforced change from the team that beat Scotland last weekend sees lock Patrick Tuipulotu taking over from Luke Romano.

Elsewhere, Liam Squire starts in the back row.

The hosts have made three changes from the side beaten by Australia earlier this month for the Cardiff encounter.

Wing Hallam Amos, centre Scott Williams and scrum-half Rhys Webb all make head coach Warren Gatland's starting line-up. Amos replaced the injured Liam Williams, while Williams takes over from Jonathan Davies, a long-term absentee with a foot injury, and Webb is preferred to Gareth Davies.

Gatland has named the same pack that started the 29-21 Wallabies defeat 19 days ago, with fit-again flanker Justin Tipuric chosen among the replacements, where he is joined by the likes of 93 times-capped centre Jamie Roberts, Rhys Priestland and Wyn Jones.

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