New Zealand include Scott Barrett in line-up for semi-final against England

Scott Barrett returns to New Zealand line-up
Scott Barrett returns to New Zealand line-up
©Steve Haag

New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen has named Scott Barrett in the line-up for the World Cup semi-final encounter against England this weekend.

Scott starts at blindside flanker as Ardie Savea moves to openside with Sam Cane dropping to the bench. As Matt Todd is injured, his place among the replacements has been taken by Patrick Tuipulotu.

Kieran Read will captain the All Blacks side putting to rest his injury talks. Hansen has retained Beauden Barrett at fullback and the fly-half responsibility has been handed to Richie Mo’unga with Aaron Smith at scrum-half.

“There’s no doubt that this is a huge game and there’s a lot of excitement around it. We know what we have to do and we’ve had a great week’s preparation. The team is exactly where we want to be, mentally and physically, ahead of the weekend.

“We’re really looking forward to this opportunity. It’s all about this game and the moments it will bring. In these moments, the word pressure is bandied around quite readily.

 “However, that pressure is always there whenever you play quality opposition, regardless of who you are. It’s about how you handle that in the moment and not getting distracted by the past or the future.

“Both teams have a common goal, which is to make the Final. However, we’ve arrived at this point with vastly different experiences from previous Rugby World Cups. No doubt, those experiences will resurface throughout the week and even in the game itself".

New Zealand starting line-up: 15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Scott Barrett, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody

Reserves: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 18 Angus Ta’avao, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Sam Cane, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Sonny Bill Williams, 23 Jordie Barrett