Sport24.co.za | Matt Todd surprised by All Blacks recall

Cape Town – New Zealand openside flank Matt Todd has admitted that he was surprised to be recalled to the All Blacks squad for their end-of-year tour. 

Todd, who currently plays for the Panasonic Wild Knights in Japan’s Top League, was granted a special dispensation by New Zealand Rugby (NZR), because he is contracted to the NZR and Crusaders for 2019. 

The NZR doesn’t usually allow the All Blacks to select overseas-based players, but Todd earned a call-up after Sam Cane’s season ended with a fractured neck sustained in the Test against the Springboks in Pretoria earlier this month. 

Todd has been named on the bench as back-up to Ardie Savea for Saturday’s Bledisloe Cup Test with Australia in Yokohama. 

Tohe 30-year-old is excited to be back in the All Blacks squad. 

“It’s good to be back, I guess a little bit surprising,” said Todd. 

“I was over here enjoying on my footy and enjoying the Japanese lifestyle, but I guess the situation arose and I got the okay, and it’s great to be back in camp. 

“I thought when I came up here it just wasn’t an option to come back. A little bit of a surprise when my agent rung me about it and when it got the green light, but a pleasant surprise all the same time. 

“It’s nice that when I came over here, I wasn’t completely forgotten about. I guess there was an injury to Sam, with the circumstances that arose, and it worked out this way.”

Teams:

New Zealand 

15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Liam Squire, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Sam Whitelock, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody 

Substitutes: 16 Nathan Harris, 17 Karl Tu’inukuafe, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Brodie Retallick, 20 Matt Todd, 21 Aaron Smith, 22 Richie Mo’unga, 23 Anton Lienert-Brown 

Australia 

15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Sefa Naivalu, 13 Israel Folau, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Will Genia, 8 David Pocock, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Folau Faingaa, 1 Scott Sio

Substiitutes (one to be omitted): 16 Tolu Latu, 17 Sekope Kepu,18  Taniela Tupou, 19 Rory Arnold, 20 Jack Dempsey, 21 Pete Samu, 22 Nick Phipps, 23 Samu Kerevi, 24 Tom Banks

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