Bledisloe Cup 2020: All Blacks' Hoskins Sotutu confirmed for first test start in Sydney

Rookie All Blacks No.8 Hoskins Sotutu will make his first test start, when they take on Australia in the third Bledisloe Cup test in Sydney.

Sotutu is one of three changes to the run-on side, with Karl Tu'inukuafe returning to tighthead prop at the expense of Joe Moody, who is still going through HIA (concussion) protocols.

Veteran Sam Whitelock reclaims his spot at lock, after overcoming his own concussion issues, forcing Tupou Vaa'i out of the matchday squad.

Sotutu, 22, replaces regular Ardie Savea, whose first child was born in New Zealand this week. Savea is expected to join the squad in Australia next week.

Midfielder Ngani Laumape and loose forward Dalton Papalii are also in line for their first All Blacks appearances of the year, both named to the bench.

Elsewhere among the reserves, prop Tyrel Lomax comes in for Nepo Laulala, also on babywatch, while Rieko Ioane returns, after a hamstring injury forced him out of the Eden Park test.

After coming off the bench for the first two Bledisloe Cup tests, coach Ian Foster believes Sotutu is up to the starting challenge.

"He's had plenty of minutes already in the Bledisloe Cup series and he's ready to go," says Foster. 

"He's excited.  It's a chance to start his first test, so it's pretty special for him."

The All Blacks are also hugely excited by the prospect of winning the Bledisloe Cup on Australian soil for the first time since 2009, Foster adds.

"None of our players, even our experienced ones, have had to win the trophy in Australia," he says. 

"In the past, the deciding game has always been in New Zealand, so I think it's a great challenge for us."

Bledisloe Cup 2020: All Blacks' Hoskins Sotutu confirmed for first test start in Sydney
Photo credit: Getty/Newshub.

With a draw in the first test in Wellington, folllowed by a win in Auckland a week later, the All Blacks only need to draw one of the final two tests to retain the Bledisloe Cup for a 17th consecutive time.

Four test debutants will line up for the Wallabies on the opposite side of the field.

In the starting side, coach Dave Rennie has named Brumbies star Noah Lolesio to replace injured James O'Connor at first-five, while Irae Simone slots alongside him at second-five for Matt To'omua, who's also been scratched with injury.

Queensland Reds duo Tate McDermott and Fraser McReight are in line for their first test appearance from the bench.

In other changes, dynamic midfielder Jordan Petaia earns his first test start of 2020, with prop Allan Alaalatoa the only adjustment to the pack.

All Blacks: 1-Karl Tu'inukuafe, 2-Dane Coles, 3-Ofa Tuungafasi, 4-Patrick Tuipulotu, 5-Samuel Whitelock, 6-Shannon Frizell , 7-Sam Cane, 8-Hoskins Sotutu , 9-Aaron Smith , 10-Richie Mo'unga, 11-Caleb Clarke , 12-Jack Goodhue, 13-Anton Lienert-Brown, 14-Jordie Barrett , 15-Beauden Barrett 

Reserves: 16- Codie Taylor, 17-Alex Hodgman , 18-Tyrel Lomax , 19-Scott Barrett, 20-Dalton Papalii, 21-TJ Perenara, 22-Ngani Laumape, 23-Rieko Ioane

Wallabies: 1-James Slipper, 2-Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 3-Allan Alaalatoa, 4-Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 5-Matt Philip, 6-Ned Hanigan, 7-Michael Hooper, 8-Harry Wilson, 9-Nic White, 10-Noah Lolesio, 11-Marika Koroibete, 12-Irae Simone, 13-Jordan Petaia, 14-Filipo Daugunu, 15-Dane Haylett-Petty

Reserves: 16-Jordan Uelese, 17-Scott Sio, 18-Taniela Tupou, 19-Rob Simmons, 20-Fraser McReight, 21-Tate McDermott, 22-Reece Hodge, 23-Hunter Paisami

Join us from 9:30pm Saturday for live updates of the third All Blacks v Australia Bledisloe Cup test