Barrett starts in midfield, Whitelock to captain All Blacks at Eden Park

barrett starts in midfield, whitelock to captain all blacks at eden park

Jordie Barrett scores.

Jordie Barrett has won the race for the All Blacks’ No.12 jersey, as Ian Foster named his side to face the Wallabies at Eden Park.

After concussion and injury scratched David Havili and Quinn Tupaea from contention, Barrett has been picked over Roger Tuivasa-Sheck to start at second-five – forcing a backline reshuffle. Brother Beauden will take the reins at fullback, as Will Jordan remains on the right wing.

Elsewhere, Sam Cane’s absence – also due to concussion sustained in the series opener in Melbourne last week – sees Sam Whitelock take over as captain, after also leading the All Blacks last year.

In the forwards, Codie Taylor is preferred to start over Samisoni Taukei’aho, joining Ethan de Groot and Tyrel Lomax in the front row.

Akira Ioane takes over from Scott Barrett at No.6, as Dalton Papali’i fills in for Cane at openside flanker. Ardie Savea returns at No.8 after missing the first test for the birth of his child.

On the bench, props Ofa Tuungafasi and Nepo Laualala come in to replace George Bower and Fletcher Newell in the reserves, as Tupou Vaa’i and Hoskins Sotutu also add cover to the forwards.

In the backs, Tuivasa-Sheck is in line for his second test appearance – named in the No.22 jersey after making his debut in the series deciding loss to Ireland earlier this year, while Sevu Reece returns to cover the back three.

“We are determined to finish the tournament strongly and we know that Australia will throw everything at us,” said coach Ian Foster.

“This is what Test match rugby is all about and we can’t wait.”

All Blacks: 1-Ethan de Groot, 2-Codie Taylor, 3-Tyrel Lomax, 4-Brodie Retallick, 5-Sam Whitelock (c), 6-Akira Ioane, 7-Dalton Papali’i, 8-Ardie Savea, 9-Aaron Smith, 10-Richie Mo’unga, 11-Caleb Clarke, 12-Jordie Barrett, 13-Rieko Ioane, 14-Will Jordan, 15-Beauden Barrett

Reserves: 16-Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17-Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 18-Nepo Laulala, 19-Tupou Vaa’i, 20-Hoskins Sotutu, 21-Finlay Christie, 22-Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 23-Sevu Reece

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