Brothers Beauden, Jordie and Scott Barrett have been named to start for the All Blacks in the Rugby Championship clash against the Wallabies in Perth on Sunday.
There are six changes to the team that clinched the three-game Bledisloe Cup in Auckland last month with a 57-22 victory against Australia. New Zealand have prepared for the match without a trio of veterans as Sam Whitelock, Aaron Smith and Richie Mo’unga are expectant fathers who have remained at home to fulfil family duties.
Brad Weber and Beauden Barrett take over from world-class halfbacks Smith and Mo’unga while Anton Lienert-Brown is back from a knee injury at centre, outside David Havili.
Rieko Ioane moves to the left wing, Will Jordan is on the right wing and Jordie Barrett takes on the fullback role in place of Damian McKenzie, who is relegated to the bench.
Scott Barrett comes in for Whitelock, who captained the side in Auckland. That role has gone to No 8 Ardie Savea for the first time.
“We are ready, and the team is really determined to finish off this block of Tests against Australia with a top performance,” said coach Ian Foster, who was last week reappointed through to the 2023 World Cup.
“We’ve had a really unique situation going into this Test, with quarantine back in New Zealand and a ‘soft’ quarantine here in Perth.
“But the work that has gone in preparing the players has been outstanding, so when the whistle goes on Sunday, we’ll be ready.”
The match, which doubles as the third and final Bledisloe Cup match of the year, was supposed to be played last weekend. But the All Blacks refused to travel until there was certainty around where the rest of the pandemic-hit Rugby Championship would be played, a move that angered Rugby Australia and Wallabies coach Dave Rennie.
Governing body Sanzaar has since announced that the tournament, which also features world champions South Africa and Argentina, will be played entirely in Australia’s Queensland state.
New Zealand: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Will Jordan, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 David Havili, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Brad Webber; 8 Ardie Savea (c), 7 Dalton Papalii, 6 Akira Ioane, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 George Bower.
Replacements: 16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Karl Tu’inukuafe, 18 Angus Ta’avao, 19 Tupou Vaa’i, 20 Ethan Blackadder, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Damian McKenzie, 23 George Bridge.