MELBOURNE (REUTERS) – Beauden Barrett and brothers Jordie and Scott have all been picked in New Zealand’s starting 15 to play Australia on Sunday (Sept 5) in the Rugby Championship as the All Blacks look to continue their perfect season.
Beauden, as expected, has replaced Richie Mo’unga at flyhalf, with Scott replacing lock and captain Sam Whitelock.
Jordie has been promoted in place of Damian McKenzie at fullback in the Ardie Savea-captained side for the match at Perth Stadium.
Brad Weber has beaten out TJ Perenara for the starting scrumhalf position vacated by Aaron Smith.
Smith, Whitelock and Mo’unga have stayed behind in New Zealand while awaiting the births of their children.
Coach Ian Foster has reinstated Anton Lienert-Brown at centre after his recovery from injury, pushing Rieko Ioane onto the wing and Sevu Reece out of the side.
But Foster has otherwise resisted making wholesale changes to the team that blitzed the Wallabies 57-22 at Eden Park in the first round of the Rugby Championship and secured the Bledisloe Cup for a 19th successive year.
“We really, I guess, erred on the side of the most battle-hardened, recent players we had,” Foster told reporters from Perth on Friday.
“So that’s been a key driver, to make sure we’ve got guys who are used to playing at this intensity.”
The All Blacks will bid for a sixth straight test win this season after beating Australia in two successive matches at Eden Park, sweeping Fiji 2-0 and thrashing Tonga in July.
The Wallabies are likely to be a different prospect on home soil at Perth Stadium, where they beat the All Blacks 47-26 in the leadup to the 2019 World Cup.
Australia also denied the All Blacks a 3-0 sweep last year with victory in Brisbane.
“Subconsciously we don’t really switch well from a Bledisloe Cup series to a Rugby Championship series,” said Foster.
“It’s certainly something that we’d like to achieve but we’re under no illusions that past results mean a lot when you go into test matches against Australia.”
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