Rugby Championship 2014: New Zealand team for Argentina


Israel Dagg returns to the New Zealand team for their game against Argentina in Napier this weekend, as one of three changes to the team that thumped Australia in round two.

Dagg comes in at fullback, while Ben Smith shifts to the wing and Cory Jane drops out of the squad. The other changes see Ma’a Nonu return to the starting XV after recovering from injury, at the expense of Ryan Crotty, who is struggling with an injury himself, and Beauden Barrett selected at fly-half in place of the injured Aaron Cruden.

The starting pack remains the same, although the bench is reshuffled with Joe Moody and Jeremy Thrush coming in.

New Zealand team to play Argentina:

15 Israel Dagg, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (c), 6 Liam Messam, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Wyatt Crockett.

Replacements: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Joe Moody, 19 Jeremy Thrush, 20 Sam Cane, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Colin Slade, 23 Malakai Fekitoa.

Date: Saturday, September 6
Kick-off: 19:35 local (08:35 BST, 07:35 GMT)
Venue: Mclean Park, Napier
Referee: Pascal Gauzère (France)

11 thoughts on “Rugby Championship 2014: New Zealand team for Argentina

  1. They have had a settled (and very successful – not sure which leads to which) set up for some time, but it must be said that the development of Barrett has been an example of how it should be done. When Barrett gets his first start at fly half he already has 21 caps under his belt, he has only started 2 games and those were both at fullback.

    From the perspective of England rugby, or possibly the whole of the rest of the world, this is difficult to live up to. It cetainly helps that Barrett plays fullback so can pick up experience at a slightly less high pressure position (I can’t think of an english FH who plays both, or has started his career playing both). Certainly can’t think of the last english test player deliberately given 15-20caps before his first start.

    Hopefully if Lancaster develops a structure and team then this can start to be done. There is much to be said for central contracts for internationals. It means that the coaching setup have to more carefully, actively and conciously develop players from a young age. If this is done it should be easier to bring in youg players as they will have been around the squad and the team playing style/ethos for some time.

    Looking at it from this perspective Lancaster may already to attempting to achieve this with players such as Watson, Kvesic and one or two others.

    In this case I expect Barrett to supersede Cruden, but unless there is injury, this will happen slowly. It certianly helps that Cruden is currently in fantastic form.

    1. I think this is an interesting one.

      NZ clearly have the benefit of a very settled side, so they can bring new players in one by one without too much disruption.

      BUT, I do think there is a certain amount of chance to this.
      If you look at fly half as one example, obviously Carter is still their first choice when fit. Fortunately, in some ways, he has had a lot of injury trouble over the past few years, drip feeding Cruden and Barrett a large amount of playing time whilst Carter is still very much part of the set up. Let me put it this way. If Carter had not been injured once over the past 3 years, how many caps would Barrett have? A hell of a lot less that is for sure.

      Now I’m not suggesting that NZ do not feed players in well, but it is necessarily is well planned as first glance would have you assume.

  2. Mike
    It’s partly but not just about slotting players in as NZ have done since the last WC (e.g. Arron Smith, Savea, Dagg, Barrett etc now seem like vets). It’s also about playing an all round game & picking players to fit into that system. They play basic rugger better with fwds & backs more interchangable than other teams. This is esp so with the fatties running straight lines or turing in towards the oppo, thus creating space, before offloading accurately. This, sooner or later, creates more opportunities to score tries which NZ prize above all and which makes sense as they’re worth more points. Other teams don’t do as well. Beats me why they don’t.

  3. Jacob
    NZ’s having a settled side is no accident. It’s because of their aforementioned all round game & which players fit into. Lancaster cleared out better England players IMO, e.g. Easter who is smart, seemingly for the sake of youth!? SL pointed out NZ have 9(?) guys 30+ in their squad, but it didn’t hamper them too much with the last E tour. But it’s not just an age thing, it’s also a game plan thing.

    Also Carter is not nec the shoo-in you may think. As you pt out he’s been plenty injured over the recent past. And hasn’t his goal kicking dipped a bit lately? I agree that currently, WHEN fit, he’s the likely starter. However Cruden & Barrett have developed as 1st 5’s in their own right. And with the 1st 5 injury issues NZ had in the last WC & given their game time, Cruden & Barrett are pushing hard. Perhaps NZ won’t miss Dan, if injured again, as much as you & some may think.

    1. Not once did I say NZ would miss Carter, nor does anyone else. NZ have dominated globally the past two years with Carter playing very few test matches. My point, which I will reiterate, is that Barrett’s experience is more through chance (Carters injury), than careful planning. AS I said, I am sure Barrett would be far less experienced has Carter been fully fit for the past two seasons.

      On England (not sure I ever mentioned what are doing, but hey lets go for it anyway), we all know this. England have had an outdated game plan for too long, leading to the 2011 disaster. SL, thankfully, has spent him time reshaping this.

      First lets address the clear out. Most of them were needed, some were forced through retirements. Some (Easter for example) were made based on their likely ability at the next WC. Which, based on the fact that Vunipola and Morgan are better options, looks like a good decision.

      The first year of SL’s reign was about stability. Having had such a mess to clear up, he had to change about half of the EPS squad. HUGE job. That was the reason for the likes of Hodgson (2012 6N) initially playing alongside Farrell. Dowson/Palmer/Botha. All stable good players that began to set in stone the “culture” that SL was trying to create. Once this all set in, new younger players emerged (i.e. Launchbury/Yarde) which are not being integrated into the culture that had been created.

      Essentially, what I’m getting at is, historically England have made a mess of creating a settled side with a club culture. England have also never had a consistent style of play, as all of the SH sides do. Now, under SL, it is taking place. Progress is being made in all of these areas, and he is directing them towards a similar style that NZ play. The main issue here? As yet, our players do not have the skill sets that comes so naturally to NZ players, largely due to the fact that in NZ young players spend a hell of a lot more time with the ball in their hands.

      As I said originally, my comment was about NZ, not England. We know we are behind on setting up this structure, but we are pretty much there now. The side is settled and making real progress.

    2. So Lancaster the coach who you accuse of not picking youth, you also criticise for clearing out experienced players to accommodate youth. Interesting logic.

  4. Matt

    Gorblimey. Defensive or what? Or perhaps you’re being yr usual wind up self for the sake of it… or for bearing a some prev grudge? Besides I don’t accuse SL of clearing out older players, he has actually done so. IMO & in that of various rugger pundits, the e.g I mentioned, i.e Easter, was dumped with undue haste & valid reason. Of course as Morgan & Billy have been outstanding, maybe we’re wrong?

    1. I don’t think anyone disagrees with Easter being dropped now. SL foresaw that he was not going to be a top international by the 2015 WC. He was right. Aside from that, he was “apparently” a major part of problem at the 2015 WC, creating a real divide in the squad.

      Essentially, what I’m getting at is that again this is a poor and incorrect example of a point that you are attempting to make to discredit NH rugby and the way we do things.

  5. Edited

    Gorblimey. Defensive or what? Or perhaps you’re being yr usual wind up self for the sake of it… or are bearing some prev grudge? Besides I don’t accuse SL of clearing out older players, he has actually done so. IMO & in that of various rugger pundits, the e.g I mentioned, i.e Easter, was dumped with undue haste & without valid reason. Of course as Morgan & Billy have been outstanding, maybe we’re wrong?

  6. Jacob
    Long explan, but NZ don’t do chance. Ok Carter was injured, but his 6 mth sabbat, was planned, allowing Barrett, Cruden more & concentrated game time. Upshot NZ now have 4 1st 5’s in place for WC, incl Slade (see again my Mike comments regds alst WC issues here). Carter is exp like some other NZ players; = mix of exp & youth. SA also recalling exp btw. Lancs clearout seemed to be throwing baby & bathwater out for yoof’s sake? Also the Johhno bashing thing, seemed somewhat scape goating, as there seemed no appreciable diff in England’s game under SL (wingers & others running E to W) until the NZ tour. Then they did indeed run the ball more (& straighter?) @ the ABs. And if England had won 1 more game, i.e. v Fr, in the last WC, would we have heard all this stuff abt dwarf throwing, MT’s cleavage sojourn, JH’s bungying, Tui’s dip? I doubt it. Anyway England, like everyone else, have a yr to front for 2015, the last tour notwithsstanding..

    1. Carter’s absence was planned to extend Carter’s career and increase chance he could play on to the RWC. A side benefit of which has been an opportunity for someone else. I doubt the ‘convo’ as you guys call it was “Hey DC10, would you mind not playing for a while so we can give someone else a go in your position?”

      Which baby have England thrown out with the bathwater? Many people said Easter, but given Morgan and Billy V have been, your words, ‘outstanding’ this looks like a good decision not a bad one? 11 and 14 shirts have been a problem to fill, but this doesn’t mean Cueto should still be in one.

      So who did SL boot out that is still looking like a better option than the current incumbent for 2015? I can’t think of one.

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