All Blacks forced into late Bledisloe change

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Flanker Matt Todd has been ruled out of the third Bledisloe, on the eve of the Brisbane clash, replaced by livewire Ardie Savea.

Todd suffered a groin injury in training on Thursday, with the openside still finishing training early with the concern, and failing to improve overnight. 

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said he expected Savea to be extra dangeorus, after initially being omitted from the 23 for the trans-Tasman outing.

“He's had the disappointment of not being named, so he's probably a little angry about that,” he said.

“I'm sure he'll come out wanting to prove a point.

“He's a good player and someone we've got a lot of faith in.

“We were looking to give him a bit of a breather but that's not possible now.

“He's got a skillset that can be challenging when he's got ball in hand and we just want him to be stronger over the ball and he'll look to do that.”

New Zealand captain Kieran Read said Savea would be a handy injection late in the game.

“He's had plenty of opportunities and he brings a unique skill set,” he said.

“He's a pretty powerful man with the ball in hand and just (expecting) him to do his job when we comes on the field late on the game.

“It's crucial for those guys on the bench to make an impact.”

Todd is expected to be fit for the All Blacks’ end of year tour to the Northern Hemisphere.

Australia hosts New Zealand on Saturday October 21, kicking off at 7pm local, 8pm AEDT LIVE on FOX SPORTS, Network Ten, Win and via RADIO.