Beauden Barrett will start at No. 10 in his 100th Test for the All Blacks, the pivot given the honour of selection in the run-on side for his milestone match.
The selection means Richie Mo’unga returns to the bench after he started last week’s massive win over the United States, as coach Ian Foster made a raft of changes to his run-on side to face Wales in Cardiff.
“It’s a very special time for Beauden and his family and it’s also a special time for this team and its legacy,” Foster said. “He’s a big part of this team, he’s a key leader, he’s captained the All Blacks, he’s vice captain on this tour and he’s an influencer on and off the park.
“I can’t speak more highly about his contribution as a person to the black jersey. The chance to play his 100th Test at this stadium against Wales is really special.”
Elswhere, Foster has brought back his first-choice front-row with Joe Moody, Codie Taylor and Nepo Laulala combining while Brodie Retallick is also back to partner skipper Sam Whitelock at lock.
Ethan Blackadder, Dalton Papalii and Ardie Savea make up the back-row to complete the forward pack.
TJ Perenara replaces Finlay Christie at No. 9 to partner Barrett in the halves while David Havili and Anton Lienert-Brown comprise a new midfield combination.
Jordie Barrett returns at fullback after missing last week’s win over the Eagles while he is joined in the back three by Will Jordan and Rieko Ioane.
“It’s exciting to be back here in the north, albeit in very different circumstances,” Foster said.
“The All Blacks have always loved touring north, these Test matches are a big part of our history as a rugby team and it’s been three years since we played in Europe, so there’s a real sense of excitement.
“What a better place to start than at a packed-out stadium here in Cardiff.”
New Zealand: Jordie Barrett, Will Jordan, Anton Lienert-Brown, David Havili, Rieko Ioane, Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara; Ardie Savea, Dalton Papalii, Ethan Blackadder, Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick, Nepo Laulala, Codie Taylor, Joe Moody.
Replacements: Samisoni Taukei’aho, Karl Tu’inukuafe, Tyrel Lomax, Tupou Vaa’i, Akira Ioane, Brad Weber, Richie Mo’unga, Sevu Reece