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Barrett brothers promoted to All Blacks' starting line-up

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: All Blacks coach Ian Foster has revealed his team for Sunday’s Round Two Rugby Championship clash, starting all three Barrett brothers while promising his team is highly motivated to complete a clean sweep of the Wallabies.

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In the absence of stay-at-home stars Richie Mo’unga, Sam Whitelock and Aaron Smith, Foster has made five changes, mostly among his backs, for Sunday’s match at Perth Stadium in Perth.

The only change to a settled starting forward pack is lock Scott Barrett replacing regular skipper Whitelock at lock, while No.8 Ardie Savea takes over the captaincy.

Two-time world player of the year Beauden Barrett replaces Mo’unga at flyhalf with Brad Weber taking over from scrumhalf Smith, getting just his second Test start ahead of the vastly-experienced TJ Perenara.

Jordie Barrett replaces Damian McKenzie at fullback while Aaron Lienart-Brown returns from injury at outside centre, pushing Rieko Ioane back to the wing.

Only inside centre David Havili and wing Will Jordan will start in the same backline roles from the team that claimed a big win in the second Bledisloe Cup Test.

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“We really erred on the side of the most battle-hardened, recent players we had … to make sure we’ve got guys that are used to this intensity,” Foster said.

New Zealand retained the Bledisloe for the 19th straight year last month with a pair of victories at Auckland’s Eden Park.

The third Test was rescheduled eight days later than first planned in the wake of the All Blacks’ refusal to leave for Perth before plans for the rest of the Rugby Championship were confirmed, a decision which earned a riposte from Wallabies coach Dave Rennie.

Rennie said he was “bloody angry” and said “there’s only one of us who are interested in doing what’s best for the game” as his squad has spent three weeks stewing in Perth.

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Foster said those barbs were less of a motivating force than the chance to sweep Australia in their three Tests for 2021.

“I’ve never been a great believer in getting wound up by something someone else says,” he said.

“We are cognisant that he said that we weren’t committed. I’m just reassuring everyone we are. 100 percent. Can’t wait.

“[The clean sweep] is certainly mentioned.

“It’s been something that we haven’t been very good at. If you look at the last 10 years, we’ve only clean swept them three times.

“It’s certainly something we’d like to achieve.”

Sunday’s Test at Perth’s Optus Stadium will count as part of the Rugby Championship, which will then conclude in Queensland.

All Blacks: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Will Jordan, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 David Havili, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Ardie Savea (captain), 7 Dalton Papalii, 6 Akira Ioane, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 George Bower.
Replacements: 16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Karl Tu’inukuafe, 18 Angus Ta’avao, 19 Tupou Vaa’i, 20 Ethan Blackadder, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Damian McKenzie, 23 George Bridge.

Date: Sunday, September 5
Venue: Perth Stadium, Perth
Kick-off: 14.00 (18.00 NZST; 06.00 GMT)
Referee: Damon Murphy (Australia)
Assistant referees: Jordan way (Australia), Graham Cooper (Australia)
TMO: Brett Cronan (Australia)

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