Julian Savea to start for New Zealand against Australia

New Zealand have not lost to Australia at Eden Park in 30 years and would set a top tier record of 18 consecutive test wins with victory.

By: Reuters | Updated: October 20, 2016 12:52 am
julian-savea-m Julian Savea, one of three changes made by head coach Steve Hansen to the side that crushed South Africa 57-15. REUTERS

Winger Julian Savea will start for New Zealand in Saturday’s Bledisloe Cup test against Australia at Eden Park after missing the last match against South Africa.

TJ Perenara retained his spot at scrumhalf in place of the Aaron Smith, who stood down from the match following the incident last month in which he was seen entering a toilet at Christchurch airport with a woman.

Savea, one of three changes made by head coach Steve Hansen to the side that crushed South Africa 57-15 in Durban, replaced Waisake Naholo who drops out of the squad.

Aaron Cruden, who is making his comeback from a groin injury, was named on the bench in place of Lima Sopoaga and Malakai Fekitoa was preferred to centre George Moala among the replacements.

“The squad is feeling refreshed and raring to go after our return from South Africa, and we’re all looking forward to what we know is a hugely-anticipated test match at Eden Park,” Hansen said in a New Zealand Rugby Union statement.

“We’ve been focused in our preparation this week and there’s a strong resolve within the group to put in another performance we can be proud of.”

The All Blacks have not lost to Australia at Eden Park in 30 years and would set a top tier record of 18 consecutive test wins with victory on Saturday.

Team: 15-Ben Smith, 14-Israel Dagg, 13-Anton Lienert-Brown, 12-Ryan Crotty, 11-Julian Savea, 10-Beauden Barrett, 9-TJ Perenara; 8-Kieran Read (captain), 7-Matt Todd, 6-Jerome Kaino, 5-Sam Whitelock, 4-Brodie Retallick, 3-Owen Franks, 2-Dane Coles, 1-Joe Moody

Replacements: 16-Codie Taylor, 17-Wyatt Crockett, 18-Charlie Faumuina, 19-Liam Squire, 20-Ardie Savea, 21-Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22-Aaron Cruden, 23-Malakai Fekitoa

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First Published on: October 19, 2016 11:37 pm
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