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Hansen Names Very Powerful All Blacks Side For Wallabies Showdown

All Blacks

All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen has named a side which looks close to his strongest XV for Saturday’s Rugby Championship clash with Australia in Perth. 

In total, Hansen has made six changes to the side which drew 16-16 with the Springboks in Wellington two weeks ago.

Up front, Dane Coles replaces Codie Taylor at hooker and Scott Barrett comes in for the injured Brodie Retallick at lock.

There is a back-row reshuffle as Ardie Savea and Sam Cane both come into the side at six and seven, respectively. Captain Kieran Read retains his place at number eight.

All Blacks

In the backs, Hansen continues with dual playmaking role of Richie Mo’unga at 10 and Beauden Barrett at fullback.

Aaron Smith comes into the side to replace TJ Perenara.

Anton Lienert-Brown comes into the centre to partner Jack Goodhue with Sonny Bill Williams having returned to Counties Manukau to play in the Mitre 10 Cup.

Hansen said: “Our preparation this week here in Perth has been very good. We can tell that it’s ‘Bledisloe One’ week as there’s a real sense of purpose in everything we do, and a real desire to do it well.

All Blacks

“With the extra time together, we’re starting to see an improved clarity of roles out on the training park. We’ll need to take the confidence that comes with that clarity into the Test on Saturday and deliver a game which has high energy, high skill and great decision-making.

“The Bledisloe Cup has always been incredibly important to this team and teams before us. It’s those teams, ourselves, our country and our many fans that inspire and drive us to want to go out and ‘re-take’ the trophy. We’ve never felt that it’s about going out and ‘retaining’ the Cup because it’s always been about earning the right to have it. This Saturday is no different. Both teams will be desperate and hungry for success.”

All Blacks side to face Australia

15: Beauden Barrett, 14: Ben Smith, 13: Jack Goodhue, 12: Anton Lienert-Brown, 11: Rieko Ioane, 10: Richie Mo’unga, 9: Aaron Smith; 8: Kieran Read (c), 7: Sam Cane, 6: Ardie Savea, 5: Sam Whitelock, 4: Scott Barrett, 3: Owen Franks, 2: Dane Coles, 1: Joe Moody. Reserves: 16: Codie Taylor, 17: Atu Moli, 18: Angus Ta’avao, 19: Patrick Tuipulotu, 20: Matt Todd; 21: TJ Perenara, 22: Ngani Laumape, 23: George Bridge.

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Author: Sean McMahon

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