27 Sep 2018

All Blacks keep faith with Beauden Barrett and SBW back

5:30 pm on 27 September 2018

The All Blacks have given first-five Beauden Barrett the chance to redeem himself after the loss to South Africa, though several changes have been made to the side for Sunday's match in Argentina.

Beauden Barrett and Anton Lienert-Brown at the final whistle after losing to South Africa 2018.

Beauden Barrett and Anton Lienert-Brown at the final whistle after losing to South Africa 2018. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The All Blacks can wrap up the Rugby Championship title with a bonus point win and have picked near a full strength side, with another front rower set to fulfil a childhood dream that he thought had long gone.

Barrett stays in charge of steering the ship with Richie Mo'unga on the bench after Damian McKenzie returned home for a family bereavement.

TJ Perenara starts at halfback in his 50th test pushing Aaron Smith to the bench, while Sonny Bill Williams returns for the first time since injuring his shoulder in June and starts at second-five, with Ryan Crotty outside him. Anton Lienert-Brown drops to the reserves.

Jordie Barrett's been left out of the 23 with Ben Smith moving to fullback and Waisake Naholo coming onto the wing.

Captain Kieran Read and Liam Squire were left in New Zealand meaning a loose forward reshuffle with Luke Whitelock and Shannon Frizell joining Sam Cane in the back row.

Ofa Tuungafasi starts at tighthead with Owen Franks getting a rest, while prop Angus Ta'avao is set to debut from the bench.

28-year-old Ta'avao came into the All Blacks via a less than direct route. He played for New Zealand Under 20 in 2010 and made his debut for Auckland in the same year. He signed for the Blues for the 2012 Super Rugby season playing for the side through to the 2015 season, but was overlooked for higher honours and seemingly gave up on his All Black dream, heading to Australia to further his career.

He played for the Waratahs for two seasons before heading back home to play for Taranaki.

He didn't have a Super Rugby contract in 2018, until being called into the Chiefs as an injury replacement. He then impressed with regular game time before being called into the All Blacks as injury cover and will now play his first test, years after he thought that ship had sailed.

Coach Steve Hansen said the team had recovered well this week in Buenos Aires after travelling from New Zealand and was preparing for what would be the first of two tough away games for the All Blacks.

"We've picked what we believe is the best team for this particular Test match. Argentina are a very good side who have shown they can win both away and at home. They're full of confidence and self-belief which will make them a very dangerous beast," he said.

"From a selection point of view, we've always seen these next two Test matches as a great opportunity to replicate the knockout stages of the Rugby World Cup, where we'll have to beat quality teams back-to-back if we are to keep advancing in the Tournament. One of the keys to achieving this will be a consistency of selection, and that's why we haven't made too many changes this week."

"We've taken some key learning's from the loss to South Africa, which we look forward to implementing on Saturday. Our week's preparation starts off the field with our individual and collective clarity and builds during the week through our training's. So far this week this has been very pleasing and everyone's been working really hard. We're excited by Saturday's (Sunday NZ time) challenge and can't wait for kick off.

"We'd also like to thank the people of Buenos Aires for their incredible hospitality this week. It's a fantastic place to visit and we really enjoy our time here."

The matchday 23 is:

1. Karl Tu'inukuafe (7)

2. Codie Taylor (36)

3. Ofa Tuungafasi (20)

4. Samuel Whitelock (103) - captain

5. Scott Barrett (23)

6. Shannon Frizell (3)

7. Sam Cane (58)

8. Luke Whitelock (6)

9. TJ Perenara (49)

10. Beauden Barrett (67)

11. Rieko Ioane (18)

12. Sonny Bill Williams (47)

13. Ryan Crotty (39)

14. Waisake Naholo (22)

15. Ben Smith (72)

16. Nathan Harris (16)

17. Tim Perry (3)

18. Angus Ta'avao

19. Patrick Tuipulotu (17)

20. Ardie Savea (29)

21. Aaron Smith (77)

22. Richie Mo'unga (2)

23. Anton Lienert-Brown (28)