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BLEDISLOE II TEAMS: All Blacks make six changes, RTS returns via bench

All Blacks captain Sam Cane is one of six changes to the All Blacks 23 for the second Bledisloe Cup match against Australia at Eden Park on Saturday.

Cane came off with a self-reported head injury in the opening match, won by New Zealand in Melbourne. Although he later passed a HIA, he has been sidelined from training since the game.

Scott Barrett and Shannon Frizell are out while David Havili misses out having failed a HIA in Melbourne. Quinn Tupaea is the fourth player missing after suffering a serious knee injury when taken out by Darcy Swain, an action that led to a ban for the Wallabies player on Thursday.

Coach Ian Foster said Frizell was close to being fit while Barrett had been managing an Achilles niggle for several weeks.

Sam Whitelock will lead the team which has No.8 Ardie Savea returning from parental leave. He will play in a a loose forward trio featuring Dalton Papali’i at openside flanker and Akira Ioane on the blindside.

With Havili and Tupaea out of the midfield selection frame, the All Blacks have retained the combination that finished the Test in Melbourne. Jordie Barrett will play at No.12 with Beauden Barrett at fullback.

23 for Saturday ????

— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) September 21, 2022

Codie Taylor replaces Samisoni Taukei’aho at hooker in the starting side, alongside props Ofa Tu’ungafasi and Nepo Laulala.

Lock Tupou Vaa’i, midfielder Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and outside back Sevu Reece are added to the bench.

“This year’s Rugby Championship is so tightly contested and our group is continuing to make shifts to improve,” said All Blacks head coach Ian Foster in a statement.

“We are determined to finish the tournament strongly and we know that Australia will throw everything at us. This is what Test match rugby is all about and we can’t wait.”

The Wallabies will name their team at 12.45pm AEST. With Swain out, Cadeyrn Neville will be picked to start in the second row.

All Blacks (Test caps in brackets):

1.Ethan de Groot (9)

2.Codie Taylor (71)

3.Tyrel Lomax (19)

4.Brodie Retallick (97)

5.Samuel Whitelock (139)

6.Akira Ioane (18)

7.Dalton Papali’i (17)

8.Ardie Savea (66)

9.Aaron Smith (110)

10.Richie Mo’unga (40)

11.Caleb Clarke (10)

12. Jordie Barrett (44)

13.Rieko Ioane (55)

14.Will Jordan (20)

15. Beauden Barrett (108)

16. Samisoni Taukei’aho (16)

17.Ofa Tu’ungafasi (47)

18.Nepo Laulala (41)

19.Tupou Vaa’i (14)

20.Hoskins Sotutu (11)

21.Finlay Christie (11)

22.Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (1)

23.Sevu Reece (20) 


Rugby – The Roar 

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