Scott Barrett will start at flank in the only change to the All Blacks’ starting lineup for their semi-final against England in Yokohama on Saturday.
Barrett’s inclusion means that Ardie Savea switches to the opposite side of the scrum while Sam Cane drops to the bench.
It could be a hint that the All Blacks will be looking to target England at the lineout as Barrett is more accustomed to playing in the second row.
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said the move was a tactical switch, but refused to be pressed any further on the change.
‘I’m not going into too much depth about that because otherwise we’re giving Eddie [Jones] some information that he’ll probably be able to work out pretty quickly himself,’ Hansen said. ‘Obviously, it’s strategic; it’s not on form. Sam Cane is playing lovely rugby.
‘The bench is massive. It’s so important in today’s game. There is a thought process that the best players always start, but sometimes they don’t. Some are better finishers of the game than they are starters. You have to get your squad to understand that.
‘Sammy is in good form. But we have got a strategy that says we should pick Scott Barrett and bring Sam off the bench.’
Meanwhile, Codie Taylor will start in his 50th Test for the All Blacks, while lock Patrick Tuipulotu is named on the bench.
All Blacks – 15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Ardie Savea , 6 Scott Barrett, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody.
Subs: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Ofa Tuungafasi, 18 Angus Ta’avao, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Sam Cane, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Sonny Bill Williams, 23 Jordie Barrett.
Photo: BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images