Debutant Anton Lienert-Brown has made the cut, and will make his debut for the All Blacks on Saturday.
The All Blacks side to play the second Bledisloe Cup match in the Investec Rugby Championship has been named. The match, to be played at Westpac Stadium, Wellington, on Saturday 27 August will include new All Black Anton Lienert-Brown (pictured) who makes his Test debut.
The All Blacks have posted a media release, along with online video to support to promotion of the Chiefs midfielder. Read the full press release here, and the 23 man squad is in final preparations days before the side clashes with Australia.
New Zealand won the opening Bledisloe Cup match in Sydney, 42-8.
New Zealand test side changes
The test side will be led by Kieran Read, and will see prop Joe Moody return from injury to start at loosehead prop. Unable to play due a nagging back complaint, he will be bursting to prove his fitness. Wyatt Crockett goes to the bench, although if substituted on, it will be his 50th test cap. Inside Moody will be Dane Coles, who had to play 77 minutes last week still suffering with tender ribs when Codie Taylor suffered concussion.
That substantial injury to Taylor gives James Parson from the Blues an opportunity. He is now reserve hooker, after his one test in 2014. Those are the only other changes to the pack. The most changes come in the backline–Lienert-Brown making his debut for the All Blacks in place of Ryan Crotty, who also suffered a head knock against Australia.
Inside Lienert-Brown will be Beauden Barrett, the ‘Man of the Match’ in match one and a crowd favourite. Expect an attacking mindset from the home side, hoping to continue a rich vein of form since the 2015 Rugby World Cup. The victory last week compounded a poor series of results for the Wallabies, and the Kiwi’s will be looking to continue that trend.
Natural attacking ability in backline
Their natural attacking ability is reinforced with the selection of Julian Savea on the left-wing, while Israel Dagg and Ben Smith exchange positions. In one of the more debatable moves, coach Steve Hansen has ‘switched’ the players. That is a recognition of the sides riches [both Smith and Dagg are quality outside backs] but also to ensure the team are fresh in their attitude.
Hansen said: “This Test match will tell us a lot about ourselves and Australia. There’s no doubt that one of the hardest things to do in sport is to back up a big performance with another big performance. It’s totally a mental thing, so that is something we’ve been working really hard on this week: getting our feet back on the ground and our attitudes right for what is going to be a really physical and demanding Test. As always, the expectation we have placed on ourselves is to improve in everything we do.
Australia announce squad
Today Michael Cheika named the Wallabies team. Last Word On Sports are covering the full Rugby Championship season in-depth, with our Australian-based reporter Chris Duffy filing a feature on the Aussie team.
This 2016 side must repair a long history of ‘close, but no cigar’ results. Without a victory on New Zealand soil for 15 years, not since John Eales have the Wallabies raised the Bledisloe Cup. That is still a possibility, even though sports betting agencies have the All Blacks as incomparable favourites.
Full match day coverage begins on Saturday morning on LWOS Rugby. Senior Editor Scott Hornell will feature the All Blacks in his ‘Super Saturday’ package, as well as other matches played across New Zealand.
Then post-match, All Blacks reporter Mike Pulman will highlight the full game result and developments. Expect a fiery response from a wounded Wallabies team, hammered in the press. Mike will report on the outcome and what impact the game plays on The Rugby Championship 2016.