PREVIEW OF THE ALL BLACKS-WALLABIES TEST IN AUCKLAND
SATURDAY, AUGUST 15, 1730AEST
New Zealand v Australia at Eden Park
Head to Head: New Zealand 104, Australia 42, Draw 7
Last clash: Australia by New Zealand 27-19 in Sydney, August 8, 2015
The All Blacks are desperate to atone for their defeat at ANZ Stadium last weekend and retain the Bledisloe Cup, while the Wallabies are tantalisingly close to lifting the trophy they relinquished 12 years ago. Yet World Cup year means both sides have tinkered with their line-ups. New Zealand have given Victor Vito a start as blindside flanker and are carrying no specialist lock cover. Australia have handed the No.10 jersey to the unpredictable Quade Cooper.
Keys: The breakdown, rush defending and the scrum were all areas in which the Wallabies were highly effective in Sydney. But they will have to overcome their drought at Eden Park, where they haven’t won since 1986, against opponents eager to mark skipper Richie McCaw’s world-record 142nd Test in style.
New Zealand: Ben Smith, Nehe Milner-Skudder, Conrad Smith, Ma’a Nonu, Julian Savea, Daniel Carter, Aaron Smith, Kieran Read, Richie McCaw (capt), Victor Vito, Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick, Owen Franks, Dane Coles, Tony Woodcock. Res: Keven Mealamu, Wyatt Crockett, Nepo Laulala, Jerome Kaino, Sam Cane, TJ Perenara, Colin Slade, Malakai Fekitoa.
Australia: Israel Folau, Henry Speight, Tevita Kuridrani, Matt Toomua, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Quade Cooper, Nic White, Wycliff Palu, Michael Hooper, Scott Fardy, Will Skelton, James Horwill, Sekope Kepu, Stephen Moore (capt), Scott Sio. Res: Tatafu Polota-Nau, James Slipper, Greg Holmes, Kane Douglas, Dean Mumm, David Pocock, Matt Giteau, Kurtley Beale.