Ioane, Coltman set for All Blacks debuts

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Rieko Ioane and Liam Coltman are set to make their New Zealand debuts as two of numerous changes for the Test against Italy on Saturday.

The All Blacks are coming off a shock 40-29 loss to Ireland, a defeat which ended their tier-one record run of 18 consecutive Test wins.

While Ioane and Coltman were named in the matchday 23, Sam Cane will captain a much-changed team at the Stadio Olimpico.

Damian McKenzie gets his first Test start at full-back, while Wyatt Crockett and Charlie Faumuina also come into the XV.

"On behalf of the entire All Blacks squad, we want to congratulate Liam and Rieko on their elevation to the matchday 23 for the first time," All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said.

"They have both worked incredibly hard and deserve their opportunity.

"Whilst we have made a number of changes, as we indicated, we will be looking for a massive improvement in our performance from last weekend.

"Italy will bring their own unique flavour to the game. They have a big, strong forward pack and some really exciting backs. They will look to drive their maul and be as disruptive as possible.

"Therefore, we will have to be clinical and effective in all aspects of our game, starting with our set-piece. We are also expecting to see an improvement in our kicking game."

 

New Zealand team: Wyatt Crockett, Codie Taylor, Charlie Faumuina, Patrick Tuipulotu, Scott Barrett, Elliot Dixon, Sam Cane, Steven Luatua, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Aaron Cruden, Waisake Naholo, Anton Lienert-Brown, Malakai Fekitoa, Israel Dagg, Damien McKenzie.

Replacements: Liam Coltman, Joe Moody, Ofa Tu'ungafasi, Brodie Retallick, Matt Todd, Aaron Smith, Lima Sopoaga, Rieko Ioane.