News Update


Argentina vs. New Zealand: All Blacks’ Mark Telea returns in Rugby World Cup semi-final

Mark Telea has been recalled to the New Zealand squad for the All Blacks’ Rugby World Cup semi-final against Argentina.

After breaking team policy, the 26-year-old was benched for the quarter-final win over Ireland.

His return is one of two changes to Ian Foster’s starting XV for Friday’s semi-final, with Sam Whitelock taking over in the second row for Brodie Retallick.

Argentina makes one change for the game in Paris, with Gonzalo Bertranou taking over as scrum-half for Tomas Cubelli.

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New Zealand’s matchday squad includes 12 players from their 2019 semi-final loss to England in Japan.

Telea replaces Leicester Fainga’anuku, who scored one of New Zealand’s three tries against Ireland. Telea crossed twice in the opening game loss to hosts France.

“That’s the team we think is best for this week,” Foster added. “He [Telea] has served his sentence. He made a mistake and acknowledged what happened, but you don’t stay there.

“We have got a faith in him and think he is in good place to play this game.”

Argentina retains seven players from the 2015 team, including captain Julian Montoya and replacement fly-half Nicolas Sanchez, who scored a late interception try in the Pumas’ quarter-final triumph over Wales.

The victor of the first semi-final will face either England or South Africa in the final on Saturday, October 28 at the Stade de France.


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