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Barrett at fullback, Jordie Barrett on the wing for Bledisloe Cup opener
By Raga House | Fri 09 Oct, 2020 05:26

Beauden Barrett has been named at fullback for the All Blacks’ Bledisloe Cup opener on Sunday, with younger brother Jordie Barrett to join him in the back-three.

In his first test in charge, coach Ian Foster has opted to retain the dual-playmaking system introduced last year, which will see Richie Mo’unga start at first five-eighth against the Wallabies at Sky Stadium.

But while Jordie Barrett was the form fullback of Super Rugby Aotearoa, it’s on the right wing where he will shift to, as New Zealand shuffle the pieces to get their best players on the park.

It’s not an all too unfamiliar scenario for the younger Barrett, having played 17 tests, started 10, and run out on the wing in three of those – in the No 14 against Italy in Rome in 2018 (where he scored four tries) then on the left side in his next test against Argentina in Buenos Aires last year, before getting another shot on the right flank against Canada at the World Cup.

Completing the back-three is George Bridge, who has been given the nod over debutant Caleb Clarke, who has been selected on the bench.

All up, 17 players remain from the 23 which featured in the fateful semifinal loss to England in Yokohama last year.

In the midfield, Jack Goodhue beats out Anton Lienert-Brown for the second five-eighth job of partnering Rieko Ioane, while halfback Aaron Smith completes the backline.

Up front, Joe Moody, Codie Taylor and Ofa Tuungafasi make up the front row, with the bench featuring comebacks of varying kinds for Dane Coles, who has not having played since he suffered a calf injury in the final round of Super Rugby Aotearoa, and Karl Tu’inukuafe, who hasn’t played a test in almost two years.

Sam Whitelock will play his 118th test, becoming the fourth-equal most capped All Black of all-time, and partners Patrick Tuipulotu in the second row.

In the loose trio, the post-Kieran Read era sees Ardie Savea start at No 8, with Shannon Frizell given the nod at blindside flanker, alongside captain Sam Cane.

Team News:
All Blacks: 
Beauden Barrett, Jordie Barrett, Rieko Ioane, Jack Goodhue, George Bridge, Richie Mo’unga, Aaron Smith, Ardie Savea, Sam Cane (c), Shannon Frizell, Sam Whitelock, Patrick Tuipulotu, Ofa Tuungafasi, Codie Taylor, Joe Moody. 
Reserves: Dane Coles, Karl Tu’inukuafe, Nepo Laulala, Tupou Vaa’i, Hoskins Sotutu, TJ Perenara, Anton Lienert-Brown, Caleb Clarke.


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