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The Wallabies have won the opening Bledisloe Cup Test in Perth, running away with the game during the second half to record their largest ever tally of points against the All Blacks.
All Blacks 26
After a week off, The Rugby Championship resumes with Bledisloe Cup Game 1 on Saturday night at the beautiful Optus Stadium in Perth as the Wallabies and All Blacks square off. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 7:45pm (AEST).
This is a must-win game for the Wallabies in terms of both The Rugby Championship and the Bledisloe Cup. This being a World Cup year, there are only two Bledisloe tests – the Wallabies must win both games if they are to wrestle the cup back from the All Blacks for the first time since 2002.
The Wallabies currently sit in third place on the Rugby Championship ladder after their opening defeat away to South Africa and their win in Brisbane 2 weeks ago against the Pumas.
The All Blacks are in second after defeating the Pumas and drawing with the Springboks in what was a thrilling contest. The only thing separating the All Blacks from the Springboks is the bonus point South Africa earned in their dominant 35-17 win over the Wallabies.
There are several changes to the Wallabies side that defeated Argentina 2 weeks ago. James O’Connor comes into the starting 15 at outside centre in place of Tevita Kuridrani who drops out of the 23-man squad altogether.
Nic White returns at scrum-half, pushing retiring veteran Will Genia to the bench. Sekope Kepu makes way for Allan Alaalatoa up front while Tolu Latu has replaced Folau Faingaa at hooker.
The All Blacks have also made changes from their last outing against the Springboks. Anton Lienert-Brown comes in at 12 for Sonny Bill Williams. Aaron Smith returns at 9 for the exciting TJ Perenara who moves onto the bench.
Big changes to the back row with Matt Todd and Shannon Frizell both dropped in favour of Sam Cane and Ardie Savea respectively. Todd jags a spot on the bench while big Frizell drops out of the side altogether.
Scott Barrett makes his return from injury in the second row, coming in for Brodie Retallick, while Dane Coles gets a start at hooker ahead of Codie Taylor who also moves to the bench.
Even with my Green and Gold glasses on it’s difficult to see a Wallabies victory in this one.
This is an All Blacks side absolutely oozing with class. I love TJ Perenara on the bench. He’ll come on late in the second half and wreak havoc on the Wallabies.
The New Zealand side is littered with players who dominated this year’s Super Rugby competition. I can’t see this match being any different.
New Zealand by 21.
Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 7:45pm (AEST).
Where: Optus Stadium, Perth
When: 7:45pm (AEST)
TV: Channel 10, Fox Sports
Streaming: Kayo Sports
Kurtley Beale, Reece Hodge, James O’Connor, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Christian Lealiifano, Nic White, Isi Naisarani, Michael Hooper (capt), Lukhan Sakakai-Loto, Rory Arnold, Izack Rodda, Allan Alaalatoa, Tolu Latu, Scot Sio. Res: Folau Faingaa, James Slipper, Taniela Tupou, Adam Coleman, Luke Jones, Will Genia, Matt Toomua, Tom Banks.
Beauden Barrett, Ben Smith, Jack Goodhue, Anton Lienert-Brown, Rieko Ioane, Richie Mo’unga, Aaron Smith, Kieran Read (capt), Sam Cane, Ardie Savea, Sam Whitelock, Scott Barrett, Owen Franks, Dane Coles, Joe Moody. Res: George Bridge, Ngani Laumape, TJ Perenara, Matt Todd, Patrick Tuipulotu, Angus Ta’avao, Atu Moli, Codie Taylor.