All Blacks

Lienert-Brown keen to make most of All Blacks debut

RNZ reports the All Blacks had lost four midfield options to injury with Ryan Crotty, Sonny Bill Williams, George Moala and Charlie Ngatai unavailable, meaning one of three rookies was likely to be thrust into the run on role.

The 21-year-old has beaten out uncapped 19-year-old Reiko Ioane and Chiefs team-mate centre Seta Taminivalu for the starting midfield spot alongside Malakai Fekitoa. Two-test centre Taminivalu is on the bench, while Ioane misses the match-day 23.

Coach Steve Hansen said Lienert-Brown was deserving of his debut.

Quade Cooper to make Test return

Speculation was rife that Cooper would fill the number 12 jersey after the Wallabies lost all three of Matt Giteau, Matt Toomua and Rob Horne to injury last week. But Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has opted to put the former Reds flyhalf straight into the main playmaking role.

Cooper will combine with usual Wallabies 10 Bernard Foley in a dual playmaker structure, with Foley starting at inside centre for the first time in his Test career.

Big incentive for All Blacks to prepare well for Bledisloe Cup clash

All the ingredients are in place, as Australia cop a pasting for Saturday's 42-8 loss to New Zealand in Sydney. Their coach, Michael Cheika, is right under the pump, they have injury problems and no-one gives them a chance of getting within 40 points of the All Blacks.

After all the talking they did last week, the Wallabies' performance bordered on pathetic and you assume there's no way they'll be that bad in Wellington this Saturday.

We've just got to expect it will be a completely different encounter," All Blacks flanker Sam Cane said.


Carnage for Wallabies in Bledisloe opener

Three of Australia’s backs were lost before half-time, including both inside centres Matt Giteau and Matt Toomua, as New Zealand piled on the points, with four opening half tries and six overall, in front of 65,238 at ANZ Stadium.

All Blacks flyhalf Beauden Barrett shaded Wallabies counterpart Bernard Foley in a man of the match performance, with slick attack and accurate kicking and as much as Australia battled hard nothing seemed to connect.

All Blacks blitz Wallabies 42-8

Australia's Bledisloe Cup hopes lie in tatters after the crushing 42-8 loss, in which the rampant world champions piled on six tries to one in an attacking masterclass.

It is New Zealand's biggest win over the Wallabies on Australian soil in 113 years.

The shellshocked Wallabies were dominated in every facet, with the scrum and lineout malfunctioning, the breakdown ravaged and bodies broken in a disastrous start to the tournament.


Bledisloe battle between the ears

“Something we really want to build in our team is mental toughness,” he said.

“We didn't have that in the past and we've been working hard on it over the last 12-15 months, 18 months now I suppose and we want to continue to build that, so it's something that when a new player comes into the squad he really feels.”

Cheika said the hole the Wallabies found themselves in now presented them with a choice.

Barrett to start at 10 against Wallabies

RNZ reports Barrett played a leading role in guiding the Hurricanes to their maiden Super Rugby title and that form has been rewarded with the playmaker usurping Cruden, who was the All Blacks first-choice first-five in the June test series against Wales.

Chiefs hooker Nathan Harris will start in the number 2 jersey as Dane Coles continues to recover from the rib injury that he played through in the Super Rugby final.

Sam Cane has retained his place at openside, with the in-form Ardie Savea to be used off the bench.

New-look Wallabies on the Bledisloe radar

There are four uncapped players in the current squad - Reece Hodge, Lopeti Timani, Allan Alaalatoa and Tom Robertson - and Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said he wouldn’t be counting them out of the Bledisloe.

“There might be a chance there somewhere in the 23, like a genuine chance,” he said.

“It really comes down to what we think is the best combination for the starting team and what'll happen, then that'll decide how the finishers look.

“There's a genuine possibility that someone could, it just depends on the mix that we go with in the starting team.”

Savea in last chance saloon?

The down on confidence and out of from wing has been benched for the Hurricanes last two playoff wins though he has retained his place in the All Blacks' squad.

Nehe Milner-Skudder is a shoe-in for selection when he returns from injury, while Ben Smith, Waisake Naholo and Israel Dagg are the current first choice back three.

Hart said the Rugby Championship will be Julian Savea's last chance to prove he belongs in the team.

Sonny Bill set for All Blacks return

Williams is set to return from the Rio Games the week of the All Blacks second test against the Wallabies in Wellington on the 27th August.

Williams is joined in the midfield by Ryan Crotty, Malakai Fekitoa and George Moala, while Seta Taminivalu, who made his debut against Wales, misses out.