The Wallabies gave the sport of rugby a big shot in the arm last week with its 16-all draw against the All Blacks but the task becomes that much harder with their clash at Eden Park this afternoon.
Australia hasn’t won a clash in New Zealand since 2001 and will have to do its best to negate the impact of Beauden Barrett who returns for the All Blacks.
Australia is searching for its first win at Eden Park in 34 years.
A capacity crowd of roughly 47,000 All Blacks fans is expected to attend.
Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has made several changes with Hooker Folau Fainga’a, back rower Pete Samu, reserve back rower Rob Valetini and reserve playmaker Noah Lolesio all dropped from the team.
Former Wallabies forward Peter FitzSimons believes Australia will be expecting an ambush from the Kiwis in the opening exchanges as the try to erase any confidence they may have gained from last week.
“The Wallabies still haven’t mastered the scrum and the lineout and they’re not going to dominate the world unless they do. What we’ll all expect is the All Blacks to come out fast and furious and smash the Wallabies like they did last year.”
Pressure is also building on All Blacks coach Ian Foster and it’s said his side needs to make a statement in this game after legendary All Blacks mentor Graham Henry suggested New Zealand may have signed the wrong Kiwi coach.
Wallabies team: Banks, Daugunu, Paisami, To’omua, Koroibete, O’Connor, White; Slipper, Paenga-Amosa, Tupou, Salakaia-Loto, Philip, Hanigan, Hooper, Wilson. Substitutes: Uelese, Sio, Alaalatoa, Simmons, Wright, Gordon, Petaia, Hodge.
All Blacks team: B Barrett, J Barrett, Lienert-Brown, Goodhue, Clarke, Mo’unga, Smith; Moody, Coles, Tuungafasi, Tuipulotu, Vaa’I, Frizell, Cane, Savea. Substitutes: Taylor, Hodgman, Laulala, S Barrett, Sotutu, Perenara, Ioane, McKenzie.