The matchday 23 is (Test caps in brackets):
1. Joe Moody (53)
2. Codie Taylor (63)
3. Nepo Laulala (36)
4. Brodie Retallick (88)
5. Scott Barrett (47)
6. Akira Ioane (9)
7. Ardie Savea (55) – captain
8. Luke Jacobson (9)
9. Brad Weber (13)
10. Beauden Barrett (97)
11. Rieko Ioane (43)
12. David Havili (10)
13. Anton Lienert-Brown (52)
14. Sevu Reece (13)
15. Jordie Barrett (31)
16. Asafo Aumua (3)
17. George Bower. (7)
18. Ofa Tuungafasi (41)
19. Patrick Tuipulotu (40)
20. Ethan Blackadder (6)
21. TJ Perenara (74)
22. Richie Mo’unga (26)
23. Damian McKenzie (36)
The starting forward pack remains unchanged from the original named last week, with Luke Jacobson returning to the number eight jersey, after his late withdrawal with illness last weekend. Asafo Aumua comes in at reserve hooker and George Bower comes in for Karl Tu’inukuafe on the bench.
In the backs, Brad Weber will start at halfback with TJ Perenara on the bench, Anton Lienert-Brown returns from injury to the 13 jersey, with Rieko Ioane moving to the left wing and Sevu Reece named on the right. First five-eighth Richie Mo’unga, who re-joined the team this week, is on the reserves bench alongside Damian McKenzie.
All Blacks Head Coach Ian Foster said the team was keen to finish the Fortinet Rugby Championship on a high.
“The energy levels are high in the team, it’s our fifth Test in a row, and we’re highly motivated ahead of another big Test against South Africa and the last Test of the Championship.
“We’ve achieved the Championship title, which we’re really proud to have achieved. The fact that we now have the chance to achieve a potential Grand Slam against our Southern Hemisphere opponents is pretty special. I’m excited by that and it has already given this weekend’s Test an edge."
Foster said the All Blacks were looking for improvement in their game across the board this week.
“We learnt some lessons last week. We didn’t look after the ball as well as we could have and some of our work at the ruck wasn’t as good as we wanted. We have to lift our performance in that area and the team is keen to get that right this weekend.”
Stats and facts
Beauden Barrett has scored 688 points for the All Blacks so is closing in on 700 points. He is the third highest points scorer for the All Blacks, behind Dan Carter (1,598 points) and Andrew Mehrtens (967).
TJ Perenara will be playing his 75th Test this weekend.
South Africa and the All Blacks have played 100 times: the All Blacks have won 60 times and South Africa 36.
The All Blacks have won all five matches in The Fortinet Rugby Championship and will achieve the Southern Hemisphere version of the “Grand Slam” if they win this weekend. The last time the All Blacks achieved this was in 2017.
The All Blacks lead the competition stats in Tries Scored (25), Clean Breaks (39), Metres Carried (4,511), Defenders Beaten (120), Offloads (53) and Scrums Won (83 percent). For all the competition stats go HERE.
Rieko Ioane is first on the competition list for Clean Breaks with six and second on Metres Carried with 498 metres; his brother loose forward Akira is second on Defenders Beaten with 18; midfielder David Havili and Will Jordan are second equal of the Try Scorers (together with South African Malcolm Marx) with three; while Jordie Barret is second on the Carries list with 43 and third on the Points Scored list with 39. For all the individual player stats, go HERE.
All Blacks matches – 2021 Fortinet Rugby Championship
All Blacks 57 Australia 22, Saturday 14 August, Eden Park, Auckland
Australia 21 All Blacks 38, Sunday 5 September, Optus Stadium, Perth
All Blacks 39 Argentina 0, Sunday 12 September, Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast
Argentina 13 All Blacks 36, Saturday 18 September, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
All Blacks 19 South Africa 17, Saturday 25 September, Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Townsville
South Africa vs All Blacks, 8.05PM AEST / 11.05PM NZT, Saturday 2 October, Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast