Rugby World Cup 2019: All Blacks name team to face England in semi-final

Forward utility Scott Barrett has been promoted to the All Blacks starting line-up for the Rugby World Cup semi-final showdown against England on Saturday.

Coach Steve Hansen has shuffled the loose-forward combination for the final-four encounter at Yokohama, with Barrett taking the No.6 blindside jersey, with Ardie Savea shifting to the openside and regular starter Sam Cane moving to the bench.

Savea and Cane have spent most of this international campaign on the sides of the scrum, but this selection sees Hansen bulking up his starting pack for a physical encounter with the English.

Cane's presence on the bench also covers the absence of Matt Todd, who is sidelined for this game with a shoulder injury. Lock Patrick Tuipulotu also joins the reserves to cover the second row.

"I'm not going to go into too much depth about that," says Hansen. "Otherwise, we're giving [England coach Eddie Jones] some information he should be able to work out pretty quickly for himself - I'd rather he had to work it out.

"Obviously, it's strategic. It's not on form - Same Cane's playing lovely rugby.

"However, we've made some decisions about what we want to do and how we want to play. We've made that change before of that."

Hansen observed Barrett offered another lineout and ball-carrying option that perhaps Cane did not. 

Otherwise, he's stuck with the personnel that did the damage against Ireland in last weekend's quarter-final, with Codie Taylor preferred to Dane Coles at hooker, and the midfield pairing of Anton Lienert-Brown and Jack Goodhue retained.

all blacks squad
Photo credit: Newshub.

Taylor will bring up his 50th test appearance, when he starts in the No.2 jersey.

"On behalf of the players and management, we congratulate Codie on reaching this special milestone," says Hansen. "You couldn't ask for a better occasion to mark this.

"We're really looking forward to this opportunity. Both teams have a common goal, which is to make the final.

"However, we've arrived at this point with vastly different experiences from previous Rugby World Cups. No doubt those experiences will resurface through the week and even in the game itself.

rwc playoffs
Photo credit: Newshub.

"Let's hope the game lives up to the expectation that both teams will have and is one for the ages."

All Blacks: 1-Joe Moody, 2-Codie Taylor, 3-Nepo Laulala, 4-Brodie Retallick, 5-Sam Whitelock, 6-Scott Barrett, 7-Ardie Savea, 8-Kieran Read, 9-Aaron Smith, 10-Richie Mo'unga, 11-George Bridge, 12-Anton Lienert-Brown, 13-Jack Goodhue, 14-Sevu Reece, 15-Beauden Barrett

Reserves: 16-Dane Coles, 17-Ofa Tuungafasi, 18-Angus Ta'avao, 19-Patrick Tuipulotu, 20-Sam Cane, 21-TJ Perenara, 22-Sonny Bill Williams, 23-Jordie Barrett

Essential Guide to 2019 Rugby World Cup

Everything you need to know about rugby and the World Cup...

The ninth Rugby World Cup kicks off on September 20 in Japan - the first time it has been hosted in Asia.

Join us at 9pm Saturday for live updates of the All Blacks v England Rugby World Cup semi-final.