All Blacks make surprise lock switch for semi-final

All Blacks make surprise lock switch for semi-final

Winger Mark Telea returns to New Zealand’s starting line-up for Friday’s Rugby World Cup semi-final against Argentina at the Stade de France after being left out of the team last weekend for disciplinary reasons.

He was one of two changes announced by coach Ian Foster to the line-up that outlasted Ireland 28-24 in last Saturday’s dramatic quarter-final clash in Paris, with veteran lock Sam Whitelock the other as he is back in the secondrow alongside his regular Crusaders partner Scott Barrett.

Telea was left out of the quarter-final line-up for a breach of team protocol, which New Zealand media said was after missing a team curfew.

His replacement last Saturday was Leicester Fainga’anuku, who despite scoring a crucial early try against the Irish drops out of the match day squad.

Whitelock’s return means Brodie Retallick, who has 107 caps, moves to the bench.

There is also a tweak among the replacements at back-up hooker with Samisoni Taukei’aho chosen ahead of the experienced Dane Coles, who retires after the tournament in France.

The All Blacks will qualify for a fifth World Cup final if they beat Argentina, whom they have lost to twice in the last three years.

NEW ZEALAND: Beauden Barrett; Will Jordan, Rieko Ioane, Jordie Barrett, Mark Telea; Richie Mo’unga, Aaron Smith; Ethan de Groot, Codie Taylor, Tyrel Lomax; Sam Whitelock, Scott Barrett, Shannon Frizell, Sam Cane (capt), Ardie Savea.

Replacements: Samisoni Taukei’aho, Tamaiti Williams, Fletcher Newell, Brodie Retallick, Dalton Papalii, Finlay Christie, Damian McKenzie, Anton Lienert-Brown.

ARGENTINA: Juan Cruz Mallia; Emiliano Boffelli, Lucio Cinti, Santiago Chocobares, Mateo Carreras; Santiago Carreras, Gonzalo Bertranou; Thomas Gallo, Julian Montoya (capt), Francisco Gomez Kodela; Guido Petti, Tomas Lavanini; Juan Martin Gonzalez, Marcos Kremer, Facundo Isa.

Replacements: Agustin Creevy, Joel Sclavi, Eduardo Bello, Matias Alemanno, Rodrigo Bruni, Lautaro Bazan Velez, Nicolas Sanchez, Matias Moroni.

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