All Blacks name team to face Samoa

It will be their first run-out since November

All Blacks name team to face Samoa

Sonny Bill Williams. Image: ©INPHO/Photosport/Andrew Cornaga

The world champions New Zealand have named their side to face Samoa this Friday as they prepare for the first test against the Lions.

The back-to-back Rugby World Cup winners haven't played since they beat France on November 27th last year.

The New Zealand management were keen to arrange a fixture ahead of the test series against the Lions and opted for a warm-up against a Pacific island nation.

Joe Moody, Codie Taylor and Owen Franks start in the front row with Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock partnered at lock.

Jerome Kaino, Sam Cane and Ardie Savea make up the back-row unit.

Aaron Smith and Beauden Barret start at half-back with Sonny Bill Williams and Anton Lienert-Brown completing the midfield.

Julian Savea and Israel Dagg are named on the wings with Ben Smith at full-back. 

Captain Kieran Read hasn't recovered from a thumb injury and isn't named in the match-day squad. 

The sides last met in a physical encounter in 2015 in Apia Park when New Zealand prevailed 25-16.