All Blacks coach Ian Foster wields the axe for second Test

Tanya Simon
October 18, 2020

Up front, an injury to Sam Whitelock opens the door for Tupou Vaa'i to start at No 5, while in the front row Dane Coles comes in for Codie Taylor.

There were four changes in Australia's lineup, with backrower Ned Hanigan recalled for his first test in two years.

Damian McKenzie, a late starter in the drawn first Test when Barrett was ruled out on the eve of the match, will take his place on the bench.

Hooker Folau Fainga'a, who struggled at lineout time and almost gifted the All Blacks a try with a sloppy pass, makes way for Brandon Paenga-Amosa, and the size of the pack has been bolstered by Ned Hanigan replacing Pete Samu in the loose forwards. Reserves: Codie Taylor, Alex Hodgman, Nepo Laulala, Scott Barrett, Hoskins Sotutu, TJ Perenara, Peter Umaga-Jensen, Damian McKenzie.

The changes seem to go little way toward remedying the weaknesses apparent in the All Blacks' game in Wellington.

New Australia coach Dave Rennie is well aware the All Blacks rarely play badly in successive matches and that a year ago the Wallabies were thumped 36-0 at Eden Park a week after posting a record 47-26 victory over the All Blacks in Perth. New Zealand still showed how utterly lethal they can be in punishing opponents for the smallest of errors, but the hosts' forward pack are going to have to bring a step up in physicality against the Dave Rennie-inspired Aussies. Australia won the breakdown and collision areas in Wellington, playing with far more physical aggression.

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A win would boost their chances of reclaiming the Bledisloe Cup, which the All Blacks have held since 2003.

"Our preparation this week has been really good", said Foster. "So there has been plenty for us to work on".

"The Bledisloe series is back to square one and starts again this weekend, which is exciting. There is everything to play for and we can't wait".

Australia will be looking for their first win at Eden Park since 1986.

New Zealand: Beauden Barrett, Jordie Barrett, Anton Lienert-Brown, Jack Goodhue, Caleb Clarke, Richie Mo'unga, Aaron Smith; Ardie Savea, Sam Cane (captain), Shannon Frizell, Tupou Vaa'i, Patrick Tuipulotu, Ofa Tuungafasi, Dane Coles, Joe Moody.

Star outside back Jordan Petaia and Queensland Reds flanker Liam Wright have been added to the bench.

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