All Blacks named: Reece and Bridge IN, Smith and Ioane OUT

By Jamie Wall

Steve Hansen has made changes out on the wings for this Saturday night’s second Bledisloe Cup match at Eden Park. Ben Smith and Rieko Ioane have been replaced by Sevu Reece and George Bridge respectively, meaning that 105 caps worth of experience make way for only four.

Up front, Nepo Laulala comes in for Owen Franks at tighthead prop. Patrick Tuipolotu is a straight replacement at lock for the suspended Scott Barrett, which means Jackson Hemopo comes onto the bench. In the backs, Sonny Bill Williams will start at 12, with Anton Lienert-Brown moving out to 13, replacing the injured Jack Goodhue. Jordie Barrett comes onto the bench as the utility replacement, in a raft of changes to the side that was hammered 47-26 by the Wallabies last weekend in Perth.

Hansen has persisted with his twin playmaker scheme, with Richie Mo’unga and Beauden Barrett retained at first five and fullback respectively.

“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.” he said.

“We know that Australia will be determined and confident after their win in Perth which makes the challenge even more exciting.”  

The scene is set for a dramatic showdown for the Bledisloe Cup, which the Wallabies have not held since 2003. They have also not won at Eden Park since 1986.

All Blacks side to face the Wallabies, 7:35pm Saturday night (test caps in brackets):

1. Joe Moody (39)

2. Dane Coles (63)

3. Nepo Laulala (18)

4. Patrick Tuipulotu (23)

5. Samuel Whitelock (110)

6. Ardie Savea (37) 

7. Sam Cane (62)

8. Kieran Read - captain (120)

9. Aaron Smith (85)

10. Richie Mo’unga (11)

11. George Bridge (3)

12. Sonny Bill Williams (52)

13. Anton Lienert-Brown (36)

14. Sevu Reece (1)

15. Beauden Barrett (76)

Bench:

16. Codie Taylor (43)

17. Ofa Tuungafasi (28)

18. Angus Ta’avao (6)

19. Jackson Hemopo (4)

20. Matt Todd (19)

21. TJ Perenara (57)

22. Ngani Laumape (12)

23. Jordie Barrett (10)