All Blacks team named to face Wallabies in Bledisloe Cup first test
Posted On August 5, 2021
The Ioane brothers will start together for the All Blacks at the opening of the Bledisloe Cup, but the Barrett siblings had to settle for seats on the bench as coach Ian Foster revealed his roster to face the Wallabies on Saturday at Eden Park.
Foster opted for the pairing of David Havili and Anton-Lienert-Brown in midfield, but Will Jordan’s hamstring strain allowed Rieko Ioane to start on the left wing.
Ioane was a star in the famous black No.11 jersey, but has since moved up to an away center for the blues and at testing level.
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His brother Akira will start on the blind flank in a loose new front line that also includes Ardie Savea at No.8 and Dalton Papalii on the open side.
The decision not to start Luke Jacobson comes as a surprise, but more predictably, Foster handed the reins to Richie Mo’unga ahead of Beauden Barrett in five-eighth after another superb Super Rugby season for the Crusaders.
Likewise, Damian McKenzie pushes back the challenge of Jordie Barrett at the back position and the return of Brodie Retallick is a big boost for the New Zealand second row who now has the luxury of getting Scott Barrett off the bench and Patrick Tuipulotu. to miss it completely.
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Injured props Joe Moody and Ofa Tuungafasi were not selected for selection and the Wallabies signaled their intention to attack George Bower and Nepo Laulala at the time of the scrum.
“There is tremendous excitement in our squad as we face what lies ahead this weekend,” said Foster.
“There is such a huge history with the Bledisloe Cup, the rivalry between the All Blacks and Australia goes back a long, long time, and it’s still a huge competition.
“The cup is not ours – we have to go out and win it again. We can’t wait for the weekend.”
Half-back Aaron Smith will play his 100th test, but there is no room for TJ Perenara who will play for Wellington instead.
“He’s a special man, he’s accomplished so much in the black jersey and has been an iconic player for us over the past decade,” Foster said of Smith.
“We know it will be a special night for him, his wife Teagan and his family.”
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The Wallabies have yet to name their squad but need a new winger after Marika Koroibete was pulled out for a late-night drinking session with Isi Naisarani and Pone Fa’amausili.
The All Blacks have been organizing the Bledisloe Cup since 2003.
ALL BLACKS (15-1): Damian McKenzie, Sevu Reece, Anton Lienert-Brown, David Havili, Rieko Ioane, Richie Mo’unga, Aaron Smith, Ardie Savea, Dalton Papalii, Akira Ioane, Sam Whitelock (c), Brodie Retallick, Nepo Laulala, Codie Taylor, George Arbor
Reserves: Dane Coles, Karl Tu’inukuafe, Angus Ta’avao, Scott Barrett, Luke Jacobson, Brad Weber, Beauden Barrett, Jordie Barrett
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