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A test against Namibia which is extra special for three All Blacks – Jordie Barrett, Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock – will be most significant for reuniting arguably the best locking combination in the world.
If the partnership of Retallick, back from a dislocated shoulder suffered 10 weeks ago, and Whitelock, who is leading the All Blacks in a World Cup test for the first time, remains intact, the All Blacks’ chances of lifting the William Webb Ellis trophy for the third consecutive time will be considerably enhanced. The band, which has entertained crowds for more than 50 tests, is back together at last.
Skipper Whitelock said: “You know how each other plays … having the combination that we’ve built up over the years is nice to have, especially when the pressure’s on; Brodie’s back from injury, it’s a short turnaround and we’re at a World Cup.”
Jordie Barrett’s move to first-five in the absence of Richie Mo’unga and brother Beauden is a special selection for him and his family, but all going well for the All Blacks it won’t be repeated here in Japan.
The 22-year-old will be expe
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