Barrett gets Bledisloe nod

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The All Blacks have rewarded Beauden Barrett's rich vein of form, handing him the starting flyhalf spot for this weekend's opening Bledisloe Test.

Barrett was one of the standouts of the Super Rugby competition, steering the Hurricanes to their first championship, and putting the heat on incumbent, Aaron Cruden.

Sam Cane has overcome concussion to take his spot in the side, with Ardie Savea on the pine, but Dane Coles hasn't been so lucky - the Hurricanes hooker is still working his way back to full fitness.

Prop Kane Hames is in line for his debut, named on the bench with Joe Moody injured.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said the Rugby Championship would be another chance for the new-look All Blacks to grow, the second series since the departure of more than 800 Test caps.

"This Test match will be another stepping stone in the re-establishment of this group on the international stage and we know that Australia will throw everything at us, which is what Test rugby is all about," Hansen said.

"This week has been about getting our preparation and attitude dead right and, therefore, there's an expectation that this group will bring real intensity and physicality and a high level of skill execution come Saturday.

"Our attitude has always been - and still is - that we don't hold the Bledisloe Cup by right; we have to go out and earn the right to take it. As a group we're really looking forward to this challenge on Saturday."

Check out the Wallabies team to face the All Blacks.

All Blacks team for opening Bledisloe Cup Test, Saturday August 20, 8:05pm AEST

1. Wyatt Crockett (48)

2.  Nathan Harris (4)

3.  Owen Franks (80)

4.  Brodie Retallick (50)

5.  Samuel Whitelock (75)

6.  Jerome Kaino (69)

7.  Sam Cane (34)

8.  Kieran Read - captain (87)

9.  Aaron Smith (50)

10.  Beauden Barrett (39)

11.  Waisake Naholo (6)

12.  Ryan Crotty (18)

13.  Malakai Fekitoa (15)

14.  Ben Smith (51)

15.  Israel Dagg (51)


16.  Codie Taylor (5)

17.  Kane Hames

18.  Charlie Faumuina (36)

19.  Liam Squire (1)

20. Ardie Savea (2)

21.  TJ Perenara (19)

22.  Aaron Cruden (39)

23.  Julian Savea (43)