SBW in, star trio out for Bledisloe decider
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The All Blacks team has been named to play Australia in the Bledisloe Cup at Eden Park, Auckland on Saturday, August 17.
Longtime All Blacks mainstays Owen Franks and Ben Smith have been dropped for Saturday’s must-win Bledisloe Cup Test against Australia in Auckland as the world champions seek salvation.
All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen has resisted the temptation to make wholesale changes following the record 26-47 defeat by the Wallabies in Sydney a week ago.
Instead, only three players have been axed for the return clash in Auckland but they are all big names with Rieko Ioane joining Franks and Smith on the reject pile.
The two other changes involve Sonny Bill Williams returning at inside centre for the injured Jack Goodhue with Patrick Tuipulotu is in for the suspended Scott Barrett.
George Bridge and Sevu Reece come in for Ioane an Smith in the 11 and 14 jerseys respectively, and Jordie Barrett comes onto the bench in the 23 jersey.
All Blacks Head Coach 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,”
Hansen said the team was also looking forward to huge support in the stands on Saturday.
“It’s a sellout which is fantastic, and we hope our fans are in full voice – we’re always buoyed by the massive support we receive from our fans and we look forward to more of the same on Saturday,”
🚨 TEAM NAMING | The All Blacks team has been named for the deciding #BledisloeCup Test against Australia at Eden Park on Saturday.
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) August 14, 2019
New Zealand: 15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 George Bridge; 10 Richie Mo’unga,9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Ardie Savea, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Joe Moody
Replacements: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 18 Angus Ta’avao, 19 Jackson Hemopo, 20 Matt Todd, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Ngani Laumape, 23 Jordie Barrett.
Date: Saturday, August 17
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Kick-off: 19.35 ( 07.35 GMT, 17.35 AEST)
Assistant referees: tbc