Sam Cane and Dane Coles return to New Zealand side for USA clash

Sam Cane is named on the bench
Sam Cane is named on the bench

New Zealand head coach Ian Foster has confirmed the matchday squad for the weekend's clash against the USA to be played in Washington DC.

Foster has opted for a split squad with 11 players including Brodie Retallick, Rieko Ioane, David Havili, Nepo Laulala, Codie Taylor, Joe Moody, Shannon Frizell, Ethan Blackadder, Ofa Tuungafasi, Akira Ioane and Jordie Barrett will skip the game and head to UK to prepare for the November series.

Sam Whitelock will be captaining the side and will be part of the second row along with Tupou Vaa’i while Finlay Christie will make his first start for the All Blacks at scrum-half forming half back partnership with Richie Mo'unga.

Braydon Ennor and Quinn Tupaea will be part of the midfield while George Bridge and Will Jordan have been the preferred wings with Damian McKenzie at fullback.

The back row comprises of Luke Jacobson, Dalton Papalii and Hoskins Sotutu while prop Ethan de Groot makes his first start at front row that also has Asafo Aumua and Angus Ta’avao.

Regular Sam Cane and Dane Coles have been named on the bench following recovery from their respective injuries along with debutant Josh Lord.

"We can't get the whole squad over on Saturday night so we've had to send 11 players a day early," Foster said.

"That's the No 1 and only reason why we're doing it. International flights are a little bit harder to organise than they used to be."

New Zealand XV: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Will Jordan, 13 Braydon Ennor, 12 Quinn Tupaea, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Finlay Christie, 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Dalton Papalii, 6 Luke Jacobson, 5 Tupou Vaa’i, 4 Samuel Whitelock (c), 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 Asafo Aumua, 1 Ethan de Groot

Reserves: 16 Dane Coles, 17 George Bower, 18 Tyrel Lomax, 19 Josh Lord, 20 Sam Cane, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Anton Lienert-Brown