NEW Zealand coach Ian Foster has rejigged his backline to bring Will Jordan in on the right wing in the only personnel change to his starting line-up for tomorrow’s Rugby Championship opener against Australia at Eden Park at 9.05am.
The return of the prolific try-scorer, who sat out last week’s 33-25 Bledisloe Cup win over the Wallabies because of a hamstring strain, means a switch to the left wing for Sevu Reece and a return to the centres for Rieko Ioane.
Midfielder Anton Lienert-Brown drops out of the matchday squad with TJ Perenara coming in as backup scrumhalf in place of Brad Weber in the only change to the replacement backs for the second of two successive Tests at Eden Park in Auckland.
All Blacks head coach Ian Foster said: “We’re all excited to be returning to Eden Park for the second Bledisloe Cup Test. It’s been a very ‘forward looking’ week,“ Foster said.
“We were delighted with the result last weekend and obviously had some things that we had to work on this week so that has kept us focused.”
Foster said that the team was highly motivated ahead of tomorrow’s game.
“We know that Australia will be disappointed with the result (last week) and will lift (their performance). It’s a do or die game for them.
The Wallabies, meanwhile, brought in Matt Toomua at flyhalf to beef up their experience in the backline.
ALL BLACKS vs WALLABIES SQUADS
All Blacks: 15 Damien McKenzie, 14 Will Jordan, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 David Havili, 11 Sevu Reece, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Dalton Papalii, 6 Akira Ioane, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 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 Scott Barrett, 20 Luke Jacobson, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Jordie Barrett.
Wallabies: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Andrew Kellaway, 13 Hunter Paisami, 12 Matt To’omua, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Noah Lolesio, 9 Tate McDermott, 8 Rob Valetini, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Lachie Swinton, 5 Matt Philip, 4 Darcy Swain, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 James Slipper. Replacements: 16 Jordan Uelese, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 20 Harry Wilson, 21 Nic White, 22 Len Ikitau, 23 Reece Hodge.