Brodie Retallick All Blacks v England: English rule a combined XV with New Zealand ahead of Rugby World Cup semifinal

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Brodie Retallick All Blacks star Beauden Barrett is tackled by England flanker Sam Underhill with both players judged good enough to make a combined team ahead of the Rugby World Cup semifinal.

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All Blacks star Beauden Barrett is tackled by England flanker Sam Underhill with both players judged good enough to make a combined team ahead of the Rugby World Cup semifinal.

England shade the All Blacks by eight players to seven and there’s no room for “Bea-unga” in a combined XV from the two Rugby World Cup semifinalists.

New Zealand and England meet in a semifinal this Saturday in Japan and highly respected British rugby writer Stuart Barnes has selected the best talents from both teams in aTimesdream team.

The selections of Barnes, the British critic with the most open admiration for the All Blacks, reflect the growing force that is England who are at No 2 on the world rankings behind New Zealand.

Brodie Retallick All Blacks lock Brodie Retallick, in action against Ireland in the Rugby World Cup quarterfinal win, has been described as

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All Blacks lock Brodie Retallick, in action against Ireland in the Rugby World Cup quarterfinal win, has been described as “majestic”.

Barnes has taken the unusual step of inserting Ben Smith, dropped from the All Blacks quarterfinal team, to fullback and moving Beauden Barrett back to No 10. There is no room for All Blacks playmaker Richie Mo’unga with Barnes shifting England star Owen Farrell to second-five.

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There are four New Zealand backs – Ben Smith, Sevu Reece, Barrett and Aaron Smith –  but just three All Blacks forwards – Brodie Retallick, Ardie Savea and Kieran Read – in the combined XV.

Brodie Retallick Athletic prop Kyle Sinckler is part of an all-England front row.

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Athletic prop Kyle Sinckler is part of an all-England front row.

Of Barrett’s return to the No 10

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