Brodie Retallick will make his comeback from injury in the All Blacks’ penultimate Pool B match against Namibia in Tokyo on Sunday.
Retallick has been out with a shoulder injury since the draw against the Springboks in Wellington in the Rugby Championship. It was thought the injury would keep him out until the playoffs, but the experienced lock has been passed fit and will start this weekend as coach Steve Hansen has again shuffled his starting lineup.
Sam Whitelock will captain the team as Kieran Read has been rested, with Ardie Savea shifting from flank to No 8 in his absence. Shannon Frizell will take Savea’s place at flank.
In the backs, Jordie Barrett will start at flyhalf for the first time in a halfback pairing with Aaron Smith. Anton Lienert-Brown starts in midfield alongside Jack Goodhue, while wings Sevu Reece and George Bridge, as well as fullback Ben Smith, start in the back three.
Hansen has named both scrumhalves TJ Perenara and Brad Weber on the bench.
All Blacks – 15 Ben Smith, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Anton Leinert-Brown, 11 George Bridge, 10 Jordie Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Sam Whitelock (c), 4 Brodie Rettalick, 3 Nepo Lualala, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody.
Subs: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Ofa Tuungafasi, 18 Angus Ta’avao, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Matt Todd, 21 Brad Weber, 22 T J Perenara, 23 Rieko Ioane.
Photo: Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images