New Zealand, current rugby world champions, have recently named two uncapped players for their second-string starting line-up for their upcoming test against Japan.
The team has called midfielder Mott Proctor and forward Dalton Papali’l for the XV, and they expect that another six players will be called to make their Test debuts from the bench.
Skipper Luke Whitelock is set to captain for the first time in a Test, and hooker Dane Coles will be returning after a year’s absence due to a knee injury. These changes are part of coach Steve Hansen’s plans for the team as they head out to Europe, and just after they beat Australian rivals 37-20 in the third game of the Bledisloe Cup, and another subsequent whitewash for the All Blacks.
Whitelock will be the 70th player to skipper in the All Blacks as he leads the team out against 2019 World Cup hosts Japan, and will be following the same road as his brother Sam, who captained the squad during last year’s season.
The All Blacks have clashed with Japan three times in the past, and have accumulated a total score of 282 against the Asian team, including a World Cup record of 145-17 over the Brace Blossoms during a match in Bloemfontein in 1995.
Despite most of Hansen’s core players heading off to play in the November Test matches, the coach has still warned his remaining players not to take the Japan team too lightly.
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