Mark Telea returns as All Blacks name team for World Cup semi-final

After missing last weekend’s win over Ireland due to disciplinary reasons, wing Mark Telea has been named in the All Blacks’ team to take on Argentina in Friday’s World Cup semi-final at Stade de France.

Telea replaces Leicester Fainga’anuku in the No. 11 shirt as one of two changes to the starting side that bested the Irish, with Brodie Retallick making way for 151-Test veteran Sam Whitelock.

“Rugby World Cup playoffs are a series of finals,” coach Ian Foster said in a statement. “We know that the intensity only increases as you progress through the knockout stages and we are preparing accordingly.

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“We have received amazing support from our country and fans. The atmosphere at our games has been tremendous and we want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been a part of that.

“The team is determined to give it everything in this special occasion against Argentina who are a quality team with a proven record in Rugby World Cup playoff games. We are very respectful of that.”

Props Ethan de Groot and Tyrel Lomax have been named in the starting front-row for the second consecutive Test, while young duo Tamaiti Williams and Fletcher Newell will come off the pine.

While Rugby World Cup winner Codie Taylor has retained his spot in the No. 2 jersey, All Blacks selectors have made a change on the bench. Samisoni Taukei’aho comes into the matchday squad as the backup hooker ahead of veteran Dane Coles.

Other than the change at lock, the rest of the forward pack remains the same. Shannon Frizell, captain Sam Cane and Ardie Savea will form their formidable backrow trio again against Los Pumas.

Halves Aaron Smith and Richie Mo’unga will look to provide quality ball to a star-studded backline which included the midfield combo of Jordie Barrett and Rieko Ioane. Out of the backs, Jordie Barrett was especially impressive during the win over Ireland last weekend.

As for the outside backs, Mark Telea will line up on the left wing while Will Jordan will take his place on the right. Playmaker Beauden Barrett has retained his spot out the back ahead of Damian McKenzie.

Along with halfback Finlay Christie, McKenzie was an unused sub during the quarter-final triumph over Ireland. Both players will look to impress if given the opportunity to play against Argentina.

All Blacks team to take on Argentina

  1. Ethan de Groot
  2. Codie Taylor
  3. Tyrel Lomax
  4. Scott Barrett
  5. Sam Whitelock
  6. Shannon Frizell
  7. Sam Cane (c)
  8. Ardie Savea
  9. Aaron Smith
  10. Richie Mo’unga
  11. Mark Telea
  12. Jordie Barrett
  13. Rieko Ioane
  14. Will Jordan
  15. Beauden Barrett


  1. Samisoni Taukei’aho
  2. Tamaiti Williams
  3. Fletcher Newell
  4. Brodie Retallick
  5. Dalton Papali’i
  6. Finlay Christie
  7. Damian McKenzie
  8. Anton Lienert-Brown

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