All Blacks vs Italy: Eleven changes for the final test of 2018 in Rome

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen and his selection panel have made 11 changes to the side that lost 16-9 to Ireland last weekend.

With Sam Whitelock, Liam Squire, Matt Todd and Sonny Bill Williams all returning home, some changes were enforced, but the match against Italy represents an opportunity to test new combinations.

Standout Auckland flanker Dalton Papalii will make his debut off the bench, the only new cap in the 23, while Patrick Tuipulotu, Vaea Fifita, Waisake Naholo, Ngani Laumape, Jordie Barrett, Angus Ta'avao and Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi make their first appearances since the Japan test.

Beauden Barrett has been retained at first-five, meaning another bench start for Crusaders playmaker Richie Mo'unga.

all blacks lineup

Damian McKenzie keeps the number 15 jersey, but will be joined by Naholo and Jordie Barrett in a new-look back three.

A week after misfiring against Ireland, Hansen has stuck with the dual-playmaker configuration of Barrett and McKenzie, leaving the impact of Mo'unga on the bench yet again.

Kieran Read will captain the side from the back of the scrum, alongside Hurricanes duo Ardie Savea and Vaea Fifita, with only four loose forwards available.

Dane Coles regains the starting hooker spot he held down against Japan, with Nathan Harris coming off the bench.

Regulars Aaron Smith, Ben Smith, Ryan Crotty, Jack Goodhue, Owen Franks and Cody Taylor have all missed selection for the final test of 2018.


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