Foster shuffles All Blacks backline for Bledisloe II

Crusaders flyer Will Jordan has been handed a start in Bledisloe II at Eden Park on Saturday night.

Jordan is one of two changes to New Zealand’s backline, with Rieko Ioane shifting from the wing to outside centre at the expense of Anton Lienert-Brown.

Jordan’s inclusion on the right wing pushes Sevu Reece across to the other side of the field. Jordan was the star of the All Blacks’ 102-0 thrashing of Tonga in Auckland earlier this year and has been among Super Rugby Aotearoa’s most dangerous attacking weapons over the past two years.

All Blacks coach Ian Foster has otherwise stuck solid to the same run-on team that did the job 33-25 over the Wallabies in the opening match of the series last week.

But he will be looking for a greater impact off the bench this time around after the Wallabies ran in three late tries to add respectability to a scoreline that had earlier looked incredibly bleak for the Australians.

Veteran scrum-half TJ Perenara has been included among the replacements, the Hurricanes halfback set to play his first Test of the year after returning from his Japanese sabbatical.

“We know that Australia will be disappointed with the result and will lift. It’s a do or die game for them,” Foster said.

“But the Bledisloe Cup means a lot to us. It’s an historic trophy and it’s easy for people to take it for granted based on results in recent years, but throughout history it has been a hard Cup to win, so it’s hugely important.”


Damian McKenzie, Will Jordan, Rieko Ioane, David Havili, Sevu Reece, Richie Mo’unga, Aaron Smith; Ardie Savea, Dalton Papalii, Akira Ioane, Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick, Nepo Laulala, Codie Taylor, George Bower. Replacements: Semisoni Taukei’aho, Karl Tu’inukuafe, Angus Ta’avao, Scott Barrett, Luke Jacobson, TJ Perenara, Beauden Barrett, Scott Barrett.