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Steve Hansen Rings The Changes For All Blacks Showdown With Wallabies

All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen has made a number of changes to the team for Saturday’s Bledisloe Cup decider against Australia. 

In total, Hansen has made five changes which sees some highly experienced players cut from the starting XV.

Upfront, the 108 times capped Owen Franks loses his place at tighthead to Nepo Laulala while Patrick Tuipulotu comes in for the suspended Scott Barrett who received a red card in last weekend’s encounter in Perth.

The rest of the pack remains the same but in the backs, George Bridge comes in for Rieko Ioane and Sevu Reece comes in for Ben Smith to form a new wing pairing.

All Blacks Team
Sevu Reece

In the centre, Jack Goodhue’s injury has resulted in a reshuffle as Anton Lienert-Brown shifts across to 13 while Sonny Bill Williams returns to take up his spot at inside centre.

Beauden Barret remains at full-back with Richie Mo’unga starting at 10.

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: “We have worked hard this week on our game and all that comes with it. We’ve had a great preparation and really excited and looking forward to a massive, must-win match for the Bledisloe Cup on Saturday.

“We know that Australia will be determined and confident after their win in Perth which makes the challenge even more exciting.”

All Blacks Team For Bledisloe Cup (Test Caps In Brackets)

1. Joe Moody (39)
2. Dane Coles (63)
3. Nepo Laulala (18)
4. Patrick Tuipulotu (23)
5. Samuel Whitelock (110)
6. Ardie Savea (37)
7. Sam Cane (62)
8. Kieran Read – captain (120)
9. Aaron Smith (85)
10. Richie Mo’unga (11)
11. George Bridge (3)
12. Sonny Bill Williams (52)
13. Anton Lienert-Brown (36)
14. Sevu Reece (1)
15. Beauden Barrett (76)

16. Codie Taylor (43)
17. Ofa Tuungafasi (28)
18. Angus Ta’avao (6)
19. Jackson Hemopo (4)
20. Matt Todd (19)
21. TJ Perenara (57)
22. Ngani Laumape (12)
23. Jordie Barrett (10)

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Meanwhile, the Wallabies have made just one change to the side which defeated the All Blacks last weekend.

Injury has forced Michael Cheika’s hand as Adam Coleman comes into the team for Rory Arnold.

Rob Simmons has been named among the reserves while there is a potential Test debut for Liam Wright.

Wallabies team to play New Zealand 

1. Scott Sio (57 Tests)

2. Tolu Latu (14 Tests)

3. Allan Alaalatoa (33 Tests)

4. Izack Rodda (20 Tests)

5. Adam Coleman (32 Tests)

6. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto (14 Tests)

7. Michael Hooper (c) (94 Tests)

8. Isi Naisarani (3 Tests)

9. Nic White (25 Tests)

10. Christian Lealiifano (21 Tests)

11. Marika Koroibete (22 Tests)

12. Samu Kerevi (vc) (28 Tests)

13. James O’Connor (46 Tests)

14. Reece Hodge (36 Tests)

15. Kurtley Beale (86 Tests)

Reserves

16. Folau Fainga’a (10 Tests)

17. James Slipper (89 Tests)

18. Taniela Tupou (14 Tests)

19. Rob Simmons (96 Tests)

20. Liam Wright*

21. Will Genia (103 Tests)

22. Matt To’omua (45 Tests)

23. Adam Ashley-Cooper (117 Tests)

*denotes uncapped

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Author: Sean McMahon

Sean is Deputy Editor and head rugby writer. You can contact him by email seanmc@punditarena.com or on Twitter