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Sam Whitelock returns to New Zealand side for second Test against Wales

Published 15/06/2016

Sam Whitelock has recovered from a hamstring injury
Sam Whitelock has recovered from a hamstring injury

New Zealand have recalled second-row Sam Whitelock for the second Test against Wales in Wellington on Saturday.

The World Cup-winner returns at the expense of Luke Romano, after he recovered from a hamstring injury, while coach Steve Hansen has also shuffled his back-three, bringing in Isreal Dagg at full-back for his 50th cap.

Ben Smith has moved to the wing with Julian Savea omitted and Malaria Fekitoa and Ryan Crotty continue in the centre, outside half-backs Aaron Smith and Aaron Cruden.

New Zealand, who rallied to claim a 39-21 triumph last week, will take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-Test series with victory in Wellington.

Hansen said: "Our performance in the first Test was very pleasing in a number of ways, especially how we kept our composure under pressure.

"However, there is an expectation that we will need to improve right across the board, with better accuracy, in both our attack and defence, combined with more physicality and intensity.

"We are expecting Wales to come out all guns blazing, particularly after what happened in the Chiefs game, so we will have to not only meet that response, but go to a higher level ourselves."

New Zealand team: Joe Moody, Dane Coles, Owen Franks, Brodie Retallick, Sam Whitelock, Jerome Kaino, Sam Cane, Kieran Read, Aaron Smith, Aaron Cruden, Waisake Naholo, Ryan Crotty, Malakai Fekitoa, Ben Smith, Israel Dagg.

Replacements: Nathan Harris, Wyatt Crockett, Charlie Faumuina, Patrick Tuipulotu, Ardie Savea, TJ Perenara, Beauden Barrett, Seta Tamanivalu.

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