New Zealand hosts Australia in the Rugby Championship on Saturday with everything to play for.
Both national teams can take home the trophy, but New Zealand has been given a boost with No 8 Ardie Savea returning. He missed last Thursday’s game against the Wallabies due to the birth of his child, but will return to the field this weekend.
“He’s fresh here but he just had a new baby so I’m sure there will be some sleepless nights – but he’s been great for us,” forward coach Jason Ryan said in training on Tuesday.
“He is a real energy giver. We get a lot of energy from him in our group and that week off will definitely refresh him.”
But who else is in the New Zealand lineup and how can fans watch? Here’s everything you need to know.
When is it?
The competition will take place on Saturday, September 24 at 8:05 a.m. BST.
How can I watch?
The game will be available to watch on Sky Sports and their app Sky Go.
If you are not a Sky customer, you can NOWTV day pass here watch without a subscription.
The All Blacks will be without skipper Sam Cane this weekend for the clash with Australia at Eden Park, but Ardie Savea will return to the back row. Lock Sam Whitelock will lead the squad in Cane’s absence, while Dalton will replace Papali’i Cane on openside flanker in an all-new back lane, with Akira Ioane in blindside for the injured Scott Barrett and Savea back at number eight after missing out on the Melbourne competition for the birth of his third child.
Dave Rennie made two changes to his pack, but kept his backline intact. Cadeyrn Neville takes the second row in place of Matt Philip and Harry Wilson’s return to number eight means a move to blindside flanker for Rob Valetini, who was again outstanding in the controversial 39-37 loss to New Zealand last time.
Loose striker Rob Leota tore an Achilles tendon against the All Blacks in Melbourne, forcing a back row change, but Pete Samu keeps his spot on the open wing after a stellar performance in his first start of the season.
New Zealand:15-Beauden Barratt, 14-Will Jordan, 13-Rieko Ioane, 12-Jordie Barrett, 11-Caleb Clarke, 10-Richie Mo’unga, 9-Aaron Smith, 8-Ardie Savea, 7-Dalton Papali I, 6-Akira Ioane, 5-Sam Whitelock (Captain), 4-Brodie Retallick, 3-Tyrel Lomax, 2-Codie Taylor, 1-Ethan de Groot
Replacements: 16-Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17-Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 18-Nepo Laulala, 19-Tupou Vaa’i, 20-Hoskins Sotutu, 21-Finlay Christie, 22-Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 23-Sevu Reece
Australia: 15-Andrew Kellaway, 14-Tom Wright, 13-Len Ikitau, 12-Lalakai Foketi, 11-Marika Koroibete, 10-Bernard Foley, 9-Jake Gordon, 8-Harry Wilson, 7-Pete Samu, 6-Rob Valetini, 5-Cadeyrn Neville, 4-Jed Holloway, 3-Allan Alaalatoa, 2-Dave Porecki, 1-James Slipper (Captain)
substitutions: 16-Folau Fainga’a, 17-Angus Bell, 18-Pone Fa’amausili, 19-Nick Frost, 20-Fraser McReight, 21-Nic White, 22-Reece Hodge, 23-Jordan Petaia
New Zealand – 1/12
Draw – 30/1
Australia – 7/1
Australia will be hurt by last week’s result and will come out with all guns blazing, but the All Blacks will have enough in the tank to screw the game. New Zealand 35-20 Australia.