Rennie hints at changes for third Test

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The All Blacks left captain Sam Whitelock, first five-eighths Richie Mo'unga and halfback Aaron Smith behind when heading to Perth on Friday due to the expectant arrival of children.

 

Australia coach Dave Rennie said at the weekend that Australian players, loose forward Lukhan Salakaia-Loto and centre Hunter Paisami, will also be on paternity leave.

 

Rennie said prop Allan Alaalatoa is likely to be absent later in the Championship but will be available to play the next two games.

 

He also hinted at more changes to his side for Sunday's game.

 

"We've always said we're going to pick on performance. There were a big chunk of guys who performed well, especially in the first 40 minutes," he told rugby.com.au.

 

 

"We'll pick guys who have earned the right to be picked for this squad, so there's likely going to be a couple of changes."

 

Returning from a calf injury is Force hooker Feleti Kaitu'u.

 

"Feleti was originally part of the squad, got injured very early on, unfortunately, and it's been a long road to recovery.

 

"When we were in Brisbane, we sent him back here [to Perth] in the hope he might be available for the All Black Test to be played here. We brought Jordy [Jordan Uelese] in as a replacement, but now he is right, Jordy's exited," he said.

 

It is expected first five-eighths James O'Connor will rejoin the squad when they travel to Queensland for the final four games of the Championship. He hasn't been able to play for the side due to a groin strain.

 

The All Blacks take on Australia on Sunday 5 September at 6pm NZT at Optus Stadium in Perth.

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