Rugby George Moala named for New Zealand debut against Samoa

George Moala is poised for his New Zealand debut when the All Blacks meet Samoa for an historic encounter in Apia.

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George Moala named for New Zealand debut against Samoa play

George Moala named for New Zealand debut against Samoa

(Omni Sports)
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Blues back George Moala will make his New Zealand debut on the wing in Wednesday's Test against Samoa in Apia.

All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen has also selected fellow newcomers Nepo Laulala, Brad Weber and Charlie Ngatai are named among the replacements.

Hooker Hikawera Elliot also features on the bench having last played for New Zealand in 2012 before undergoing neck surgery the following year.

There remains plenty of experience in the New Zealand XV led by Richie McCaw, not least among a forward pack that boasts a combined 648 caps.

New Zealand and Samoa have not played a Test since 2008 and Apia will host the first meeting between the countries on the Pacific Island.

Tony Woodcock, Jerome Kaino and Dan Carter are the three members of the current New Zealand side who featured the last time the teams played.

"It"s exciting for the group to be playing this first ever All Blacks Test in Samoa and we know it"s going to be a special occasion, Hansen said.

"The Samoans will be incredibly physical and keen to put in a huge performance in front of their fans and we will have to play with high intensity and accuracy with plenty of physicality.

We have had a good build-up this week and, with it being a new season and our first Test of the year, we have tried to keep things as simple as possible and now looking forward to getting our season underway."

Half-back Tawera Kerr-Barlow and prop Joe Moody have been released to play for New Zealand Maori against Fiji next weekend, while Chiefs loose forward Sam Cane will not travel due to a heavy Super Rugby workload.

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