Barrett at No.10 for All Blacks

Wed, 17 Aug 2016 17:42
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TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Playmaker Beauden Barrett will start in the No.10 jersey for the All Blacks in their Bledisloe Cup match against Australia at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on Saturday.

Barrett was instrumental for the Hurricanes in this year's Super Rugby competition. He helped the Wellington side win their first-ever title in the history of the competition.

The 25-year-old also saw off the challenge of Aaron Cruden, who started the season as the All Blacks' first-choice flyhalf.

There is only one new face in the matchday 23 with prop Kane Hames named on the bench.

Hames came into the All Blacks squad as an injury replacement for Joe Moody and will become the sixth new All Black of 2016 and All Black number 1152 if he takes the field, as expected, off the bench on Saturday.

"The selectors are very happy with the 23 selected for this Test match and we're looking forward to seeing them play," said New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen.  

"This Test match will be another stepping stone in the re-establishment of this group on the international stage and we know that Australia will throw everything at us, which is what Test rugby is all about. With more than 800 Test caps of experience in our matchday 23, I'm confident we have the experience to deal with the challenge."

Hansen added: "This week has been about getting our preparation and attitude dead right and, therefore, there's an expectation that this group will bring real intensity and physicality and a high level of skill execution come Saturday.

"We're all really excited about this first Rugby Championship Test match. It's against one of our most respected rivals and the Championship itself is one of the best competitions in the world. It produces an exciting brand of rugby and world-class players, which both teams have.

"We're also playing for the Bledisloe Cup, which after the Rugby World Cup, is probably the most important trophy we play for. Both teams will be desperate to get their hands on it which will create added pressure. It's about embracing that pressure and taking it on.  Our attitude has always been - and still is - that we don't hold the Bledisloe Cup by right; we have to go out and earn the right to take it. As a group we're really looking forward to this challenge on Saturday."

New Zealand: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Waisake Naholo, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Wyatt Crockett. 
Replacements: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Kane Hames, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Liam Squire, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Aaron Cruden, 23 Julian Savea.

Date: Saturday, August 20
Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Kick-off: 20.05 (22.05 NZST; 10.05 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Romain Poite (France), Federico Anselmi (Argentina)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

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