26 Nov 2020

Changes to All Blacks XV as they try to avoid third straight loss

1:51 pm on 26 November 2020

The All Blacks coach Ian Foster has made three changes to the starting XV for this weekend's Tri-Nations test against Argentina in Newcastle, all in the forwards.

Scott Barrett goes in for a try during the All Blacks' first Rugby world Cup 2019 match against South Africa.

Scott Barrett goes in for a try during the All Blacks' first Rugby world Cup 2019 match against South Africa. Photo: PhotoSport

Prop Nepo Laulala replaces Tyrel Lomax with the latter dropping to the bench, while Scott Barrett starts at lock pushing Patrick Tuipulotu to the reserves.

In the final change to the run on side, Akira Ioane starts at blindside after his test debut was cut short in the loss to the Wallabies in Brisbane, pushing Shannon Frizell out of the matchday 23, with Hoskins Sotutu on the bench.

Loosehead prop Joe Moody will play his 50th Test. Moody made his Test debut in 2014, and has started 42 of his Tests to date.

Karl Tu'inukuafe comes onto the bench as prop cover.

In the backs reserves, TJ Perenara returns, while outside back Will Jordan, who also had limited time in the Brisbane Test, will also get another opportunity, coming off the bench.

Foster said: "We've had a great week building into what will be a vital Test for us. It's exciting in the sense that we have the opportunity to redeem ourselves after our last game, and we also have the opportunity to win the Tri Nations.

"There's a real determination in the team to perform well, not only for ourselves, but also our families and friends at home and our country."

Foster has also congratulated Moody on his milestone.

"He's a key part of our group; he's rock solid and goes about his work in a really good way. He's a popular member of the team and it's a great achievement for him."

Argentina beat the All Blacks in a historic first-ever win 12 days ago and Foster said the All Blacks were expecting another torrid battle.

"Argentina have shown two weeks in a row that they can compete at the highest level. They've grown as a nation, they've got good size and a lot of skill, so we're certainly going in with our eyes wide open."

The All Blacks are coming off back to back defeats for the first time since 2011, including their first ever loss to the Pumas, and are desperate to avoid losing three consecutive tests for the first time in 22 years.

They must also win if they're to stay in the hunt for the Tri-Nations title.

The matchday 23 is as follows (Number of Test caps in brackets):

1. Joe Moody (49)

2. Dane Coles (73)

3. Nepo Laulala (28)

4. Scott Barrett (39)

5. Samuel Whitelock (121)

6. Akira Ioane (1)

7. Sam Cane (73) - captain

8. Ardie Savea (48)

9. Aaron Smith (96)

10. Richie Mo'unga (21)

11. Caleb Clarke (4)

12. Jack Goodhue (17)

13. Anton Lienert-Brown (48)

14. Jordie Barrett (22)

15. Beauden Barrett (88)

16. Codie Taylor (56)

17. Karl Tu'inukuafe (16)

18. Tyrel Lomax (5)

19. Patrick Tuipulotu (34)

20. Hoskins Sotutu (4)

21. TJ Perenara (68)

22. Rieko Ioane (33)

23. Will Jordan (1)