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Six current and recently departed Crusaders have been named in the All Blacks playing 23 to take on Namibia this weekend in Toulouse.
Our boys in black are looking to make a statement against the African side after they lost 27-13 to France last week.
David Havili (12) will start in the midfield, while Fletcher Newell (18) and Scott Barrett (19) occupy two spots on the bench.
Leicester Fainga’anuku (11) and Sam Whitelock (5), both of whom left the Crusaders at the end of the 2023 Super Rugby Pacific season, are also in the starting 15. With this appearance, Whitelock will equal Richie McCaw’s all-time All Blacks test caps record of 148.
Richie Mo’unga (22), who also hung up his boots at Rugby Park for the last time this year, is ready to make an impact off the bench. It’ll be his 50th cap for the All Blacks.
Ian Foster, All Blacks Head Coach, said they were expecting “a very tough Namibian side to test us on Friday”.
“This game is vital for us to grow and we can’t wait to get to Toulouse and test ourselves.”
The All Blacks have played Namibia twice before, in 2015 (58-14 to the All Blacks) and in 2019 (71-9 to the All Blacks).