2019 Autumn Internationals – New Zealand vs Tonga Preview & Prediction

THE FACTS

When is New Zealand vs Tonga taking place? Saturday 7th September, 03:35 (UK)

Where is New Zealand vs Tonga taking place? Waikato Stadium, Hamilton

What is the expected weather for New Zealand vs Tonga? 13c with plenty of clouds above but little chance of rain

What channel is New Zealand vs Tonga on? New Zealand vs Tonga will be shown live on Sky Sports Action

Where can I stream New Zealand vs Tonga? Sky Sports subscribers can stream the match online via Sky

Where can I get tickets for New Zealand vs Tonga? Check https://tickets.allblacks.com/... for ticket information

What was the score in the last meeting? New Zealand 47-9 Tonga

THE TEAM NEWS

NEW ZEALAND

  • New Zealand will take to the field for the first time since demolishing Australia with a clinical display to retain the Bledisloe Cup and will host Tonga in what should be a physical contest in Hamilton.
  • Head coach Steve Hansen has indicated he is eager to get game-time into his squad ahead of the World Cup but can only select 23 of his 31-man squad with any players carrying knocks such as Jack Goodhue unlikely to feature.
  • Josh Ioane could receive a call-up for this game with the Tongans after he was given the nod to provide cover for the injured Richie Mo’unga and could make his debut despite missing out on selection for the World Cup squad.

TONGA

  • Tonga come into this match with New Zealand knowing the odds are heavily stacked against them but they will believe they can cause a huge upset despite knowing the challenge that lies ahead of them.
  • They have never defeated the All Blacks in their five clashes to date but even keeping their opponents close in this game will be deemed a success as they look to build some momentum heading to the World Cup.
  • The Tongans not only face an uphill task in this game but in Japan too after receiving a very difficult draw and if they are to do any sort of damage in both this game and the World Cup, it will be down to their extremely heavy pack to lead the way.

THE PREDICTION

New Zealand will relish this physical confrontation as they look to build some intensity ahead of the World Cup. Tonga are the visitors for this clash and their giant pack will look to pose problems for the All Blacks but it could also be a hindrance for them against a dynamic New Zealand outfit. Steve Hansen is likely to pick a strong side for this game and whilst it may not be the strongest available, they should still be able to claim a comfortable win here.

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