Beauden Barrett will shift to fullback in the All Blacks’ World Cup opener against the Springboks in Yokohama on Saturday.
Barrett started at flyhalf in the final warm-up match against Tonga, but will revert to fullback, where he played in the Rugby Championship draw with the Boks with flyhalf Richie Mo’unga coming back into the starting lineup.
That means that there is no space in the starting XV for Ben Smith, who has dropped to the bench.
Sevu Reece and George Bridge keep their places as the starting wings, while Ryan Crotty and Anton Leinert-Brown remain the preferred midfield combination. Sonny Bill Williams will play from the bench.
Mo’unga is partnered by scrumhalf Aaron Smith.
Sam Cane comes back into the starting lineup in place of Matt Todd, who is left out of the match-day squad entirely, to complete a loose trio with captain Kieran Read and the in-form Ardie Savea.
Scott Barrett will start his first competitive Test since his red card against the Wallabies in Perth in the No 5 jersey.
In the only other change to the starting XV Dane Coles is preferred at hooker to Codie Taylor.
All Blacks – 15 Beauden Barrett 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Ardie Savea, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Sam Whitelock, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Joe Moody.
Subs: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Ofa Tuungafasi, 18 Angus Ta’avao, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Shannon Frizell, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Sonny Bill Williams, 23 Ben Smith.
Photo: Hannah Peters/Getty Images