Wallabies v All Blacks

The Wallabies and All Blacks have named their line-ups for Sunday’s third Bledisloe Cup – and Rugby Championship – Test in Perth. Photo: Getty Images

All Blacks and Wallabies name line-ups for Rugby Championship clash in Perth

The Wallabies and All Blacks have named their line-ups for Sunday’s third Bledisloe Cup – and Rugby Championship – Test in Perth.

Wallabies v All Blacks

The Wallabies and All Blacks have named their line-ups for Sunday’s third Bledisloe Cup – and Rugby Championship – Test in Perth. Photo: Getty Images

Brad Weber will start at scrumhalf for the All Blacks when they face Australia on Sunday, 5 September, with coach Ian Foster ringing the changes for the third Bledisloe Cup Test in Perth.

Kick-off is at 08:00 SA time.

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The 30-year-old was preferred to the experienced TJ Perenara in place of veteran Aaron Smith, in a depleted team also missing fellow regulars Sam Whitelock and Richie Mo’unga.

All three have remained in New Zealand to be with their wives who are due to give birth soon.

Beauden Barrett returns to the starting side at flyhalf while Anton Lienert-Brown is back from a knee injury at centre, outside David Havili. 

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Rieko Ioane moves to the left wing, Will Jordan is on the right wing and Jordie Barrett takes on the fullback role in place of Damian McKenzie, who is relegated to the bench.

There is just the one change in the forward pack from New Zealand’s crushing 57-22 win over the Wallabies to seal the three-game Bledisloe Cup in Auckland last month.

It sees Scott Barrett come in for Whitelock, who captained the side in Auckland. That role has gone to Ardie Savea for the first time.

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“We are ready, and the team is really determined to finish off this block of Tests against Australia with a top performance,” said coach Ian Foster, who was last week reappointed through to the 2023 World Cup.

“We’ve had a really unique situation going into this Test, with quarantine back in New Zealand and a ‘soft’ quarantine here in Perth.

“But the work that has gone in preparing the players has been outstanding, so when the whistle goes on Sunday, we’ll be ready.”

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The match, which doubles as round two of the Rugby Championship, was supposed to be played last weekend.

But the All Blacks refused to travel until there was certainty around where the rest of the pandemic-hit Rugby Championship would be played, a move that angered Rugby Australia and Wallabies coach Dave Rennie.

Governing body SANZAAR has since announced that the tournament, which also features world champions South Africa and Argentina, will be played entirely in Australia’s Queensland state.

Meanwhile, explosive centre Samu Kerevi and lock Izack Rodda will pull on a Wallabies jersey for the first time since the 2019 World Cup on Sunday as Wallabies coach Dave Rennie employs new weapons to tackle the All Blacks.

Japan-based Kerevi is back in the fold due to a relaxation of the so-called “Giteau’s Law”, which bars overseas-based players from representing Australia unless they have appeared in at least 60 Tests.

But Rennie is now allowed to pick two players who do not meet the threshold, allowing Kerevi to return to the run-on side for his 34th appearance in Perth, replacing the under-performing Matt To’omua.

Rodda returns to the bench barely a year after turning his back on Australian rugby to move overseas for a lucrative contract with Lyon, having refused to take a pay cut at the Reds when Covid hit Super Rugby.

He has since jetted back to Australia and will play for Western Force next season.

“It’s great to be able to call on the experience of Samu and Izack this weekend,” said Rennie.

“Both Samu and Izack have worked really hard since joining the group, been positive additions and have earned their opportunity to pull on the gold jersey on Sunday afternoon at Optus Stadium.”

Folau Fainga’a, meanwhile, will play his first Test of 2021, named at hooker in an all-Brumbies front row alongside James Slipper and Allan Alaalatoa.

The remaining forward pack is unchanged from the Wallabies’ 57-22 defeat to New Zealand in Auckland last month with Matt Philip and Darcy Swain the second row combination.

Michael Hooper will captain the side for the 58th time, one behind the most decorated Wallabies captain, George Gregan.

He is joined in the backrow by Lachlan Swinton and Rob Valetini, while Tate McDermott keeps his place at scrumhalf ahead of Nic White.

Kerevi replaces Hunter Paisami, whose partner is due to give birth imminently, and will combine with Len Ikitau in the midfield while the back three of Marika Koroibete, Andrew Kellaway and Tom Banks is unchanged.

“We are excited about the chance to be back on home soil and put in a performance that all of our supporters can be proud of,” added Rennie.

TEAMS:

Australia

15 Tom Banks, 14 Andrew Kellaway, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Noah Lolesio, 9 Tate McDermott, 8 Rob Valetini, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Lachlan Swinton, 5 Matt Philip, 4 Darcy Swain, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 James Slipper

Substitutes: 16 Lachlan Lonergan, 17 Angus Bell, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Izack Rodda, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Nic White, 22 Reece Hodge, 23 Jordan Petaia

New Zealand

15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Will Jordan, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 David Havili, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Brad Webber, 8 Ardie Savea (captain), 7 Dalton Papalii, 6 Akira Ioane, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 George Bower

Substitutes: 16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Karl Tu’inukuafe, 18 Angus Ta’avao, 19 Tupou Vaa’i, 20 Ethan Blackadder, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Damian McKenzie, 23 George Bridge