Tuivasa-Sheck unleashed to take on Wallabies
Former NRL star Roger Tuivasa-Sheck will make his Bledisloe Cup debut for the All Blacks against the Wallabies at Eden Park on Saturday.
The centre made his Test debut against Ireland in July but has not been sighted since throughout the Rugby Championship.
Injuries to David Havili (head) and Quinn Tupaea (knee) have opened the door for the 29-year-old, who has been playing for Auckland in New Zealand’s domestic competition.
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Tuivasa-Sheck has been named on the bench with Jordie Barrett switching from fullback to inside centre and brother Beauden Barrett starting at No.15.
The All Blacks will also be without captain Sam Cane (head) and blindside flanker Scott Barrett (Achilles) for the final game of the championship.
Lock Sam Whitelock will lead the team with support from Ardie Savea, who returns from parental leave to displace Hoskins Sotutu at No.8 from the side that secured the Bledisloe with a highly controversial win in Melbourne.
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Dalton Papali’i and Akira Ioane complete an entirely new loose forward trio in place of Cane and Barrett respectively.
Codie Taylor will surprisingly start at hooker ahead of Samisoni Taukei’aho, one of the finds of a disappointing All Blacks season.
Lock Tupou Vaa’i and winger Sevu Reece join Tuivasa-Sheck as new faces among the reserves.
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New Zealand hasn’t lost a Test at Eden Park in 28 years and hasn’t lost to Australia at the venue since 1986.
“This year’s Rugby Championship is so tightly contested and our group is continuing to make shifts to improve,” All Blacks coach Ian Foster said.
“We are determined to finish the tournament strongly and we know that Australia will throw everything at us. This is what Test match rugby is all about and we can’t wait.”
All Blacks strike with beautiful try
ALL BLACKS (15-1): Beauden Barrett, Will Jordan, Rieko Ioane, Jordie Barrett, Caleb Clarke, Richie Mo’unga, Aaron Smith, Ardie Savea, Dalton Papali’i, Akira Ioane, Sam Whitelock (c), Brodie Retallick, Tyrel Lomax, Codie Taylor, Ethan de Groot
Reserves: Samisoni Taukei’aho, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Nepo Laulala, Tupou Vaa’i, Hoskins Sotutu, Finlay Christie, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Sevu Reece
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