Steve Hansen has named his 32-man squad which looks to complete a Bledisloe Cup clean sweep over Micael Cheika’s Wallabies at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday.
With the Wallabies putting the All Blacks to the pin of their collar in Dunedin during the Rugby Championship, many are expecting another close affair between these two sides, especially with the Wallabies seemingly improving throughout the course of the Rugby Championship.
Cheika has already named his squad which saw the return of Karmichael Hunt and Hansen has just named his squad which includes the uncapped Richie Mo’unga. The Crusaders flyhalf helped his side to a Super Rugby title this year, scoring 10 points from the boot in the final in Johannesburg against the Lions.
There are doubts over the fitness of Beauden Barrett who shipped a head knock in the All Blacks’ narrow one-point win over the Springboks at Newlands. Barrett passed his HIA on the day but Hansen opted to protect Barrett and let Lima Sopoaga guide New Zealand to victory.
Barrett has been named in the squad but if he is not fit, then Sopoaga is likely to start at the Suncorp Stadium which means Mo’unga could make his debut from the bench.
Meanwhile, Patrick Tuipulotu will remain with the squad as a replacement for Luke Romano. Romano and wife Hannah recently welcomed a baby boy, and he will stay in New Zealand. Matt Todd will also remain with the squad.
Brodie Retallick will also not be travelling to Brisbane.
Here’s the squad in full:
Forwards: Wyatt Crockett, Kane Hames, Nepo Laulala, Jeff Toomaga-Allen, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Dane Coles, Nathan Harris, Codie Taylor, Scott Barrett, Patrick Tuipulotu, Samuel Whitelock, Sam Cane, Vaea Fifita, Jerome Kaino, Kieran Read, Ardie Savea, Liam Squire and Matt Todd.
Backs: Tawera Kerr-Barlow, TJ Perenara, Aaron Smith, Beauden Barrett, Richie Mo’unga, Lima Sopoaga, Ryan Crotty, Ngani Laumape, Anton Lienert-Brown, Sonny Bill Williams, Rieko Ioane, Waisake Naholo, David Havili and Damian McKenzie.