Rugby World Cup 2019: All Blacks ring changes for second Bledisloe Cup test

The All Blacks have made bold changes for their crucial Bledisloe Cup test against the Wallabies at Eden Park on Saturday.

The most notable omissions are veteran stars Ben Smith and Owen Franks, who have been replaced by Sevu Reece and Nepo Laulala respectively.

George Bridge also comes in to start on the left wing for Rieko Ioane.

Sonny Bill Williams will start at second-five, shifting Anton Lienert-Brown across to centre for the injured Jack Goodhue.

Blues lock Patrick Tuipulotu earns the start at lock in place of the suspended Scott Barrett, with Jackson Hemopo named as back-up from the bench.

Rugby World Cup 2019: All Blacks ring changes for second Bledisloe Cup test

The selectors have stuck with the new loose forward trio of Ardie Savea and Sam Cane on the flanks, with captain Kieran Read at his regular number-eight slot.

Beauden Barrett will also remain at fullback, allowing Richie Mo'unga to take the field as the starting first-five.  

Jordie Barrett makes a return to the game-day squad on the bench.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen feels the match will be an excellent chance for Reece and Bridge to push for selection at next month's Rugby World Cup. 

"While Rico and Bender [Smith] are world-class players, we think these boys are capable of being world-class players too," he said. 

"They're very confident men, they believe in themselves. They've come off a really good season with the Crusaders in good form."

Australia haven't beaten the All Blacks at Eden Park since 1986, and a win would see the Bledisloe Cup head back across the Tasman for the first time in 17 years.

"We've got two young, exciting wingers that we need to see play," Hansen added."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.

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

All Blacks: 1-Joe Moody, 2-Dane Coles, 3-Nepo Laulala, 4-Patrick Tuipulotu, 5-Samuel Whitelock, 6-Ardie Savea, 7-Sam Cane, 8-Kieran Read (c), 9-Aaron Smith, 10-Richie Mo'unga, 11-George Bridge, 12-Sonny Bill Williams 13-Anton Lienert-Brown, 14-Sevu Reece, 15-Beauden Barrett 

Reserves: 16-Codie Taylor, 17-Ofa Tuungafasi, 18-Angus Ta'avao, 19-Jackson Hemopo, 20-Matt Todd, 21-TJ Perenara, 22-Ngani Laumape, 23-Jordie Barrett


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