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Follow live updates as the All Blacks name their first team of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
The back three, midfield and second-row will be focal points of interest in the All Blacks’ team to open their World Cup campaign but once all positional debates are settled, responsibility rests on their dual playmakers to dictate terms against the Springboks.
The All Blacks attack has been the subject of much angst over the past two years or so.
Improvements were evident in dominant recent victories over the Wallabies and Tonga but after three starts together, questions remain around the Richie Mo’unga and Beauden Barrett combination which is expected to return against the Springboks in Yokohama.
Three tests offers minimal time for any combination to find their feet together, let alone two playmakers expected to orchestrate relatively new attacking structures from different sides of the field.
Playmakers, by nature, demand the ball. So while embracing two first five-eighths in the starting team creates doubt for the opposition about where the next strike may occur, elements of hesitation and confusion from the All Blacks have produced jarring moments too as Mo’unga and Barrett attempt to find their rhythm.
This dual play
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