N NZ
Rieko Ioane dropped for Wallabies rematch
By Raga House | Fri 16 Oct, 2020 01:45

Rieko Ioane has been benched after his blunder against the Wallabies last week as the All Blacks ring changes for Bledisloe II this Sunday, 6 am Kenyan time.

The matchday 23 features the selection of another new All Black, with prop Alex Hodgman set to make his test debut from the bench, while two other new All Blacks, lock Tupou Vaa'i and winger Caleb Clarke, are making their first test starts after featuring on from the bench last week.

Read Also: Wallabies change four for Bledisloe II

Hodgman is one of several changes in the forwards, with hooker Dane Coles starting and Codie Taylor on the bench, while prop Nepo Laulala returns via the bench.

Lock Sam Whitelock is going through head injury assessment (HIA) protocols and was unavailable for selection, so Tupou will start alongside Patrick Tuipulotu.

There is also a welcome return to the reserves for 36-test forward Scott Barrett, after a four-month injury layoff. In the backs, Anton Lienert-Brown has been named at centre, while Rieko Ioane will provide impact from the bench.

George Bridge, who suffered a serious pectoral injury in training on Wednesday, makes way for Clarke on the left wing.

Beauden Barrett resumes his position at fullback after his late withdrawal last week, with Damian McKenzie on the bench.

All Blacks head coach Ian Foster was happy with the team's preparation ahead of the grudge match at Eden Park.

"Our preparation this week has been really good," he said.

"It was our first test together last weekend and while there were some aspects of our game that we were pretty excited about, especially around our set piece, we didn't get the performance that we wanted, so there has been plenty for us to work on. We need to be smarter with our ball and more focussed defensively.

Team News: Beauden Barrett, Jordie Barrett, Anton Lienert-Brown, Jack Goodhue, Caleb Clarke, Richie Mo'unga, Aaron Smith, Ardie Savea, Sam Cane (c), Shannon Frizell, Tupou Vaa’i, Patrick Tuipulotu, Ofa Tuungafasi, Dane Coles, Joe Moody. Reserves: Codie Taylor, Alex Hodgman, Nepo Laulala, Scott Barrett, Hoskins Sotutu, TJ Perenara, Rieko Ioane, Damian McKenzie.

-NZ Herald 

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