Former Vodafone Warrior Ngani Laumape is set to make his All Blacks debut against the British and Irish Lions in Saturday’s second Test match in Wellington.
After producing an impressive individual performance for the Hurricanes in their 31-31 draw against the tourists at Westpac Stadium on Tuesday and on the back of a superb 2017 Super Rugby campaign, Laumape has been named on the bench for the All Blacks.
With Ben Smith (concussion) and centre Ryan Crotty (hamstring) ruled out, All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen has made two changes to the side that beat the Lions 30-15 at Eden Park in Auckland last Saturday.
“Whilst it’s disappointing to lose both Ben Smith and Ryan Crotty, it creates an opportunity for others,” Hansen said.
“Both Waisake (Naholo) and Ngani are coming into the Test side following outstanding performances against the Lions for their respective Super franchises,” he said.
Laumape, Vodafone Warrior #185, left the club at the end of 2015 to pursue his dream of playing for the All Blacks.
And in just his second season of professional rugby, he remains the leading try scorer for the Hurricanes in 2017 alongside midfield partner Vince Aso with 14.
The Vodafone Warriors wish him all the best for his Test debut.
1. Joe Moody, 2. Codie Taylor, 3. Owen Franks, 4. Brodie Retallick, 5. Samuel Whitelock, 6. Jerome Kaino, 7. Sam Cane, 8. Kieran Read (c), 9. Aaron Smith, 10. Beauden Barrett, 11. Rieko Ioane, 12. Sonny Bill Williams, 13. Anton Lienert-Brown, 14. Waisake Naholo, 15. Israel Dagg
Reserves: 16. Nathan Harris, 17. Wyatt Crockett, 18. Charlie Faumuina, 19. Scott Barrett, 20. Ardie Savea, 21. TJ Perenara, 22. Aaron Cruden, 23. Ngani Laumape*
Congrats my Doko so proud of you man!!! \ud83d\ude4c\ud83c\udffd\ud83d\ude4c\ud83c\udffd\ud83c\uddf9\ud83c\uddf4\ud83c\uddf9\ud83c\uddf4 https://t.co/RJmSEwmG1G— Albert Vete (@albievete) June 8, 2017