All Blacks: Richie Mo'unga named at first-five for Argentina test

You can hear the cheers from Canterbury. 

First-five Richie Mo'unga will get his first test start in Saturday’s All Blacks encounter with Argentina in Nelson.

The 24-year-old has been running the water, watching Beauden Barrett tear up Australia, but has finally been given a chance to direct play from the outset.

All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster said his waterboy role allowed Mo'unga to listen to the talk in the huddle, so he would be prepared when he gets his chance.

Mo'unga will be paired TJ Perenara, while Aaron Smith is rested.

That means Taranaki's Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi will make his debut off the bench.

He's been getting a rugby education in the squad since June, without wearing the jersey. 

All Blacks: Richie Mo'unga named at first-five for Argentina test

It’s an intriguing selection, considering the 23-year-old is behind Brad Weber in the Chiefs pecking order. 

With Tawera Kerr-Barlow now in France, Tahuriorangi needs some test experience to prove there isn’t a huge gap between him and the top two nines.

Nehe Milner-Skudder will finally get some test action on the right wing, with Waisake Naholo on the left and Ben Smith at fullback.

The 2015 World Cup hero hasn’t played since going down injured in the nail-biting win over South Africa in Newlands last season.

Karl Tu'inukuafe will start for the first time at loosehead, while Scott Barrett will partner Brodie Retallick at lock. Sam Whitelock will get a well deserved rest in the reserves.

Steve Hasnen says "While we've made a number of changes from our last outing, this is not a reflection on Argentina but rather a desire by us to grow the experience and depth of our squad.  Secondary to that, we also know that if we don’t use the whole squad across a long season, we’ll run out of steam later in the year."

All Blacks: 1- Karl Tu’inukuafe, 2-Codie Taylor, 3-Owen Franks , 4- Brodie Retallick, 5-Scott Barrett, 6-Shannon Frizell, 7-Ardie Savea,  8-Kieran Read (Captain), 9-TJ Perenara, 10- Richie Mo'unga, 11- Waisake Naholo, 12- Ngani Laumape, 13-Jack Goodhue, 14- Nehe Milner-Skudder, 15-Ben Smith

Reserves: 16-Nathan Harris, 17- Tim Perry, 18-Ofa Tuungafasi , 19-Sam Whitelock, 20-Luke Whitelock, 21-Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22-Damian McKenzie, 23-Ngani Laumape


All Blacks: Richie Mo'unga named at first-five for Argentina test
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