Rugby World Cup: Jordie Barrett ruled out of All Blacks' opening game against France, Anton Lienert-Brown takes No.12 jersey

Anton Lienert-Brown has won the race for the No.12 jersey, with Jordie Barrett ruled out of the All Blacks' Rugby World Cup pool stage opener against France in Paris.

Lienert-Brown comes into the midfield pairing with Rieko Ioane after Barrett's inability to train all week due to an issue in his left knee.

On the bench, David Havili slots into the No.22 jersey to provide cover for the midfield.  

Jordie Barrett is unavailable for Saturday's World Cup opener.
Jordie Barrett is unavailable for Saturday's World Cup opener. Photo credit: Getty Images

Elsewhere, Codie Taylor returns to the starting side after missing the All Blacks' record defeat to South Africa two weeks ago, forming a new-look front row alongside Ethan de Groot and Nepo Laulala - who takes the place of Tyrel Lomax, injured in that loss to the Springboks.

In the loose forwards, Dalton Papali'i has held off competition from Luke Jacobson to wear the No.6 jersey, taking the place of the injured Shannon Frizell on the blindside of the scrum. Jacobson will cover the loose forwards from the bench.

As expected, Richie Mo'unga will wear No.10 for his 50th test cap, partnering with Aaron Smith at halfback. On the bench, Finlay Christie has won the race to provide cover for Smith - beating Cam Roigard to be the backup halfback.

"It is a privilege to play in the opening game of Rugby World Cup 2023," said coach Ian Foster. "What makes it extra special is playing the host nation who are a very proud and in-form team.  

"World Cups are different. The intitial goal is to qualify for the quarterfinals and to do that we must build our game through the pool stage. 

"That starts in game one, where we have an opportunity to compete against one of the clear tournament favourites."

Elsewhere, winger Emoni Narawa's tournament is over before it could begin, after a back injury in training scratched his involvement. A replacement will be named in due course. 

All Blacks: 1-Ethan de Groot, 2-Codie Taylor, 3-Nepo Laulala, 4-Sam Whitelock, 5-Scott Barrett, 6-Dalton Papali'i, 7-Sam Cane (captain), 8-Ardie Savea, 9-Aaron Smith, 10-Richie Mo'unga, 11-Mark Telea, 12-Anton Lienert-Brown, 13-Rieko Ioane, 14-Will Jordan, 15-Beauden Barrett  

 Reserves: 16-Samisoni Taukei'aho, 17-Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 18-Fletcher Newell, 19-Tupou Vaa'i, 20-Luke Jacobson, 21-Finlay Christie, 22-David Havili, 23-Leicester Fainga'anuku

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