New Zealand v Namibia team news: Sam Whitelock to join Richie McCaw as most-capped All Black

New Zealand v Namibia team news: Sam Whitelock to join Richie McCaw as most-capped All Black

Sam Whitelock in action for New Zealand
Sam Whitelock will make his 21st Rugby World Cup appearance on Friday, one below the record jointly held by England’s Jason Leonard and former New Zealand captain Richie McCaw
Venue: Stadium de Toulouse Date: Friday, 15 September Kick-off: 20:00 BST
Coverage: BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra, plus text updates on the BBC Sport website and app.

Sam Whitelock will join Richie McCaw as New Zealand’s most-capped player when he lines up against Namibia at the Rugby World Cup in Toulouse on Friday.

The second row, 34, will move level with former All Blacks captain McCaw with his 148th appearance.

Whitelock’s 21st World Cup outing will take him one off the record for World Cup appearances, jointly held by McCaw and former England prop Jason Leonard.

New Zealand have made nine changes to the starting XV that lost to France.

Captain Sam Cane will not feature having missed the 27-13 loss to France on 8 September because of a back injury, so Ardie Savea will again lead head coach Ian Foster’s side in their second Pool A fixture.

Full-back Beauden Barrett is among those to keep their places following the defeat in Paris, New Zealand’s first ever loss in the pool stage of a World Cup, while Damian McKenzie will start at fly-half and Brodie Retallick comes into the second row alongside Whitelock.

Only Wales second row Alun Wyn Jones (170) has played more times at international level than McCaw and Whitelock, who were key parts of the All Blacks’ World Cup successes in 2011 and 2015.

New Zealand will reach 50 Rugby World Cup match wins if they beat Namibia, who have lost all 23 World Cup games they have played since their debut in 1999.

Namibia lost 52-8 against Italy in their first pool fixture on Saturday, tiring late on in sweltering conditions in Saint-Etienne having trailed by nine points at half-time.

New Zealand: B Barrett; Clarke, Leinert-Brown, Havili, Fainga’anuku; McKenzie, Roigard; Tuungafasi, Taukei’aho, Laulala, Retallick, Whitelock, Jacobson, Papali’i, Savea (capt).

Replacements: Coles, De Groot, Newell, S Barrett, Vaa’i, Smith, Mo’unga, Ioane.

Namibia: Loubser; Mouton, Deysel (capt), Malan, Rossouw; Swanepoel, Stevens; Benade, Van Jaarsveld, Coetzee, Retief, Uanivi, Conradie, Gaoseb, Hardwick.

Replacements: Van der Westhuizen, Sethie, Shifuka, Van Lill, Booysen, Katjijeko, Theron, Greyling.

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