Vaea Fifita will start at blindside flank for the All Blacks against France in Paris on Saturday.
Fifita gets an opportunity after Liam Squire wasn’t considered due to an illness he suffered this week and Jerome Kaino because of a posterior cruciate ligament injury sustained against the Barbarians last Saturday that ruled him out of the rest of the tour.
There are two other changes to the team that lost to the Wallabies in Brisbane on 21 October.
Beauden Barrett returns at No 10 in place of Lima Sopoaga and Luke Romano replaces Scott Barrett in the second row.
The match 23 features 11 players from the team that beat the Barbarians.
‘This weekend is another opportunity for us to continue growing our standards, our game and our skillsets. If we can do that and put in a complete 80-minute game we’ll go a long way to putting in a performance we can all be proud of,’ said Hansen.
‘Having said that, France are an exciting team and playing France in Paris is one of the biggest challenges in rugby. While most of our players know what to expect, six of the match 23 haven’t played the French before [Kane Hames, Nepo Laulala, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Lima Sopoaga, Fifita and McKenzie] so it’ll be a new experience for them and an exciting challenge for the entire squad.’
All Blacks – 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Kane Hames.
Subs: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 19 Scott Barrett, 20 Matt Todd, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Lima Sopoaga, 23 Anton Lienert-Brown.
Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images