29 Sep 2016

All Blacks ring the changes for Pumas test

5:00 pm on 29 September 2016

The All Blacks have made four changes to their starting XV for Sunday's clash with Argentina.

With the Rugby Championship title already wrapped up the selectors feel the test is a prime opportunity to build depth and give some of the fringe squad members a chance.

Auckland's Patrick Tuipulotu comes into the All Blacks starting lineup.

Auckland's Patrick Tuipulotu comes into the All Blacks starting lineup. Photo: Photosport

Coach Steve Hansen was expected to give many of the non-regulars a run, and he's rung changes for the dead rubber against the Pumas in Buenos Aires.

Lock Patrick Tuipulotu, who wasn't even in the match-day 23 for the All Blacks last test against South Africa, comes into the starting XV for Sam Whitelock, who drops to the bench.

Halfback Aaron Smith is being rested giving TJ Perenara a rare start, while Liam Squire has been named at No.6 for his first test start.

All Blacks halfback T J Perenara

All Blacks halfback T J Perenara Photo: Photosport

Squire appears to have usurped his Highlanders team-mate Elliot Dixon as Jerome Kaino's blindside back-up.

Young Chiefs midfielder Anton Lienert-Brown has been rewarded for his impressive debut against the Wallabies last month, he's replaced Malakai Fekitoa at centre, who's been bumped out of the match-day 23.

The Chiefs fullback Damien McKenzie is set to make his All Black debut after being named on the bench for Sunday morning's match.

Ofa Tu'ungafasi comes onto the bench as replacement prop for Charlie Faumuina; while Elliot Dixon comes into the 23 as loose forward cover.

Tawera Kerr-Barlow provides halfback cover from the bench.

"When it came to selecting this side, our key focus was to select a team that would maintain a high standard of performance and also allow us to grow our player depth and experience in the Test arena," coach Steve Hansen said.

"We also took into consideration the fact that we have seven Tests under our belts this year and more Tests and a lot of international travel to come.

"The expectation is that this side will build on the performances we've produced so far this year and play a game we can all be proud of."

"Argentina are playing in front of their passionate home crowd and will feed off that passion. They'll bring their trademark physicality as well as their flair, and ability to offload, to the contest. We'll have to start well to take the crowd out of the game. To do that we'll need to bring intensity, purpose and accuracy to all aspects of our game," Hansen said.

The All Blacks team to play Argentina, with test caps in brackets:

1. Joe Moody (17)

2. Dane Coles (43)

3. Owen Franks (84)

4. Patrick Tuipulotu (9)

5. Brodie Retallick (54)

6. Liam Squire (3)

7. Ardie Savea (6)

8. Kieran Read - capt (91)

9. TJ Perenara (23)

10. Beauden Barrett (43)

11. Julian Savea (47)

12. Ryan Crotty (21)

13. Anton Lienert-Brown (3)

14. Israel Dagg (55)

15. Ben Smith (55)

16. Codie Taylor (8)

17. Wyatt Crockett (52)

18. Ofa Tu'ungafasi (1)

19. Samuel Whitelock (79)

20. Elliot Dixon (1)

21. Tawera Kerr-Barlow (21)

22. Lima Sopoaga (3)

23. Damian McKenzie

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