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Barrett and Mo'unga start together again as All Blacks name imposing team

Ardie Savea and Sam Cane have both been named in the back row.

The All Blacks are in Australia for the first Bledisloe Cup match.
The All Blacks are in Australia for the first Bledisloe Cup match.
Image: Natacha Pisarenko

THE ALL BLACKS have named Richie Mo’unga and Beauden Barrett in the same team again for Saturday’s Rugby Championship clash with Australia in Perth [KO 10.45am Irish time, Sky Sports Action].

Head coach Steve Hansen has also selected flankers Ardie Savea and Sam Cane in the same back row in what is an imposing team.

Injured second row Brodie Retallick is replaced by Crusaders lock Scott Barrett, while Dane Coles comes in as the starting hooker.

Aaron Smith returns at scrum-half, as Anton Lienert-Brown steps into the midfield to partner Jack Goodhue.

Hansen used the Mo’unga-Barrett playmaking combination to promising effect two weekends ago versus South Africa, with the latter showing his class in the 15 shirt having long been the first-choice 10 for the All Blacks.

The selection of Cane and Savea, with the Hurricanes man at blindside flanker, in the same back row as captain Kieran Read is an interesting decision too, with Hansen having previously indicated the All Blacks would not use them as a flanker pairing.

The only other changes to the matchday squad ahead of this first Bledisloe Cup game against the Wallabies see loosehead prop Atu Moli and lock Patrick Tuipulotu named on the bench.

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New Zealand (v Australia):

15. Beauden Barrett
14. Ben Smith
13. Jack Goodhue
12. Anton Lienert-Brown
11. Rieko Ioane
10. Richie Mo’unga
9. Aaron Smith

1. Joe Moody
2. Dane Coles
3. Owen Franks
4. Scott Barrett
5. Sam Whitelock
6. Ardie Savea
7. Sam Cane
8. Kieran Read (captain)

Replacements:

16. Codie Taylor 
17. Atu Moli
18. Angus Ta’avao
19. Patrick Tuipulotu
20. Matt Todd
21. TJ Perenara
22. Ngani Laumape
23. George Bridge 

About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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