Waisake Naholo and Jack Goodhue of the All Blacks warm up.
Waisake Naholo and Jack Goodhue of the All Blacks warm up.

All Blacks’ Bledisloe Cup side revealed

JACK Goodhue has won the contentious outside centre berth in a near full strength All Blacks team to face the Wallabies in Sydney.

In one of the few dilemmas for coach Steve Hansen, rising star Goodhue will play his second Test in the Bledisloe Cup opener on Saturday, seeing off the more accomplished Anton Lienert-Brown.

Hansen has stuck closely to the team who whitewashed France 3-0 in June, although he sprung a minor surprise in the outside backs.

It was expected he would restore Jordie Barrett to fullback and shift Ben Smith to the right wing, as happened in the first two French Tests.

However, Smith starts in his specialist fullback berth, with Highlanders teammate Waisake Naholo out wide.

The only other changes from Hansen's strongest side against France are the return from injury of captain Kieran Read at No 8 and lock Brodie Retallick.

 

Sam Whitelock of the All Blacks performs the haka at Eden Park.
Sam Whitelock of the All Blacks performs the haka at Eden Park.

The Test will be the 100th for lock Sam Whitelock, making him New Zealand's eighth centurion.

His 25th Test against Australia will make Whitelock the first All Blacks second rower to raise three figures.

At the other end of his career is Crusaders teammate Goodhue, whose sharp form for the Super Rugby champions has helped him win the midfield berth left vacant by the injured Sonny Bill Williams.

Sonny Bill Williams and Jack Goodhue share a laugh in All Blacks camp.
Sonny Bill Williams and Jack Goodhue share a laugh in All Blacks camp.

Another Crusader, Ryan Crotty, shifts to inside centre, making way for a player who assistant coach Ian Foster agreed looked composed when introduced for the third Test against France.

"He came through a Super Rugby campaign where he was used extremely physically in the first part of the championship and then I think as it wore on he was able to play a little bit wider and a little bit how we would expect a centre to play," Foster said.

"He's got the ability to do both."

The only players missing from potentially New Zealand's strongest side are Williams and injured hooker Dane Coles.

ALL BLACKS: Ben Smith, Waisake Naholo, Jack Goodhue, Ryan Crotty, Rieko Ioane, Beauden Barrett, Aaron Smith, Kieran Read (c), Sam Cane, Liam Squire, Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick, Owen Franks, Codie Taylor, Joe Moody

Reserves: Nathan Harris, Karl Tu'inukuafe, Ofa Tuungafasi, Scott Barrett, Ardie Savea, TJ Perenara, Damian McKenzie, Anton Lienert-Brown



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