All Blacks drop Barrett
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen has revealed his team for the Rugby Championship Round Five clash against Argentina in Buenos Aires on Saturday.
Hansen made a number of changes to his starting XV after that 34-36 loss to the Springboks.
Jordie Barrett, who started at fullback in that shock loss in Wellington, has been dropped from the matchday 23. Jordie was responsible for that awful quick throw-in to Rieko Ioane, which resulted in a try for Willie le Roux.
Ben Smith moves back to fullback for the match in Buenos Aires with Waisake Naholo taking over on the wing.
TJ Perenara will start at scrumhalf in what will be his 50th Test in the black jersey, with Aaron Smith moving to the bench.
Sonny Bill Williams makes his eagerly-awaited return to the All Blacks at No.12, with Ryan Crotty moving out to centre.
In the front row, Ofa Tuungafasi moves to the starting tighthead position in place of Owen Franks, and new All Black Angus Ta’avao set to make his All Blacks Test debut from the bench.
Shannon Frizell is at blindside flan and Luke Whitelock at No.8. The squad will be captained by 103-Test lock Samuel Whitelock.
Hansen said the team had recovered well this week in Buenos Aires after travelling from New Zealand and was preparing for what would be the first of two tough away games for the All Blacks.
“We’ve picked what we believe is the best team for this particular Test match. Argentina are a very good side who have shown they can win both away and at home. They’re full of confidence and self-belief which will make them a very dangerous beast,” he said.
*Backline maestro Damian McKenzie will the Test against Argentina in Buenos Aires after suffering a family bereavement, the All Blacks said Thursday.
McKenzie left Argentina for New Zealand after hearing the news, the team’s official Twitter account said without specifying the nature of the loss.
New Zealand: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Sam Whitelock (captain), 3 Ofa Tuungafasi, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe.
Reserves: 16 Nathan Harris, 17 Tim Perry, 18 Angus Ta’avao, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 Aaron Smith, 22 Richie Mo’unga, 23 Anton Lienert-Brown.
Date: Saturday, September 29
Venue: Jose Amalfitani Stadium, Buenos Aires
Kick-off: 19.40 (22.40 GMT; 11.40 NZ time Sunday, September 30)
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assistant referees: Jaco Peyper (South Africa), Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)
TMO: David Grashoff (England)
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