Barrett to start in All Blacks Bledisloe team with few shocks

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The debate is over.

Beauden Barrett will start at 10 for the All Blacks in Saturday's Bledisloe, named in a team with few surprises.

Crusaders centre Jack Goodhue is the most unexpected pick in the 23, teaming up with Ryan Crotty in the absence of Sonny Bill Williams.

This will be Goodhue's second Test after he debuted in June against France, beating out experienced campaigner Anton Lienert-Brown for the job.

As expected, Barrett has kept his flyhalf spot despite growing debate about the credentials of Crusaders playmaker Richie Mounga.

Mounga has missed out on the 23 completely, with Damian McKenzie taking the back-up spot on the bench.


It wasn't all good news for the Barretts, with Waisake Naholo winning a start over Jordie in the back three.

In the pack, New Zealand welcomes back Brodie Retallick and skipper Kieran Read from injuries that kept them out of the June Series.

Sam Whitelock will play his 100th Test in Saturday's clash, becoming just the eighth Kiwi to reach the milestone.

Prop Ofa Tuungafasi is a late out for the All Blacks, with Tim Perry replacing the mammoth front rower.

Coach Steve Hansen said the All Blacks needed to step up to start well in this series.

"We're all excited at what is shaping up to be another classic Bledisloe Cup encounter here in Sydney on Saturday night," he said.

"We know that we have to earn the right to perform by preparing well and taking each moment that arises, and that mindset has been reflected in our preparation this week, which has been very good.

"The Bledisloe means a lot to this team and we have the opportunity to show just how much on Saturday night. As far as we're concerned, neither team currently has possession of the Cup and if we want it, we've got to front up and take it."

The Wallabies host the All Blacks in the first Bledisoe on Saturday August 18, kicking off at 7.45pm AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS and via RUGBY.com.au RADIO, with the Wallaroos taking on the Black Ferns from 5:15pm AEST as well. Buy tickets here.

TEAM

All Blacks to face the Wallabies

1. Joe Moody (34)

2. Codie Taylor (32)

3. Owen Franks (98)

4. Brodie Retallick (68)

5. Samuel Whitelock (99)

6. Liam Squire (17)

7. Sam Cane (55)

8. Kieran Read - captain (109)

9. Aaron Smith (74)

10. Beauden Barrett (64)

11. Rieko Ioane (16)

12. Ryan Crotty (37)

13. Jack Goodhue (1)

14. Waisake Naholo (19)

15. Ben Smith (67)

Reserves

16. Nathan Harris (13)

17. Karl Tu'inukuafe (3)

18. Tim Perry

19. Scott Barrett (19)

20. Ardie Savea (25)

21. TJ Perenara (45)

22. Damian McKenzie (15)

23. Anton Lienert-Brown (24)