Australia have gone with a 5-3 bench, featuring prop Scott Sio who replaces Angus Bell. Taniela Tupou will once again come off the bench and provide late impact.
Nic White has been given the green light after his recovery from a knee injury and pushes Jake Gordon out of the Australian 23.
‘A couple of those boys have played the All Blacks for the first time [now], myself included. Maybe the aura has worn off a little bit.’
Australia must create history by becoming the first Wallabies side to beat the All Blacks at Eden Park since 1986 if they are to keep the three-match Bledisloe series alive.
All Blacks coach Ian Foster has also named his team for the second Test.
New Zealand will retain the same forward pack but a reshuffle in the back line sees Rieko Ioane move to the centres and take the spot of Anton Lienert-Brown who suffered a knock to his knee on the weekend.
Sevu Reece moves to the left wing and Will Jordan has been named on the other edge.
All Blacks team
(1-15): George Bower, Codie Taylor, Nepo Laulala, Brodie Retallick, Samuel Whitelock (c), Akira Ioane, Dalton Papalii, Ardie Savea, Aaron Smith, Richie Mo’unga, Sevu Reece, David Havili, Rieko Ioane, Will Jordan, Damian McKenzie.
Bench: Samisoni Taukei’aho, Karl Tu’inukuafe, Angus Ta’avao, Scott Barrett, Luke Jacobson, TJ Perenara, Beauden Barrett, Jordie Barrett.
Halfback TJ Perenara replaces Brad Weber on the bench, while Scott Barrett has also been named.
Despite trailing by 25 points heading in to the final period of game one, Australian players and staff remain upbeat about their chances because they piled on three tries in quick succession. It prompted Kellaway in a radio interview to suggest the All Blacks’ intimidating aura might have worn off after game one.
It is somewhat unclear whether Kellaway meant the All Blacks in general, or was referring to the aura of Eden Park or New Zealand players themselves.
The fact Kellaway made the point, just like Wallabies hooker Jordan Uelese earlier this week, that all the pressure was on New Zealand, holders of the Bledisloe Cup since 2003, certainly raised eyebrows.
“A couple of those boys have played the All Blacks for the first time [now], myself included. Maybe the aura has worn off a little bit,” Kellaway said on the Big Sports Breakfast program.
“To be honest, the pressure is pretty much on them. You don’t want to be the first All Blacks team to lose at Eden Park. We’re not stupid, we know we have to start well.”
Mehrtens, one of New Zealand’s finest players, who chalked up 16 Tests against the men in gold from 1995 to 2004, said Kellaway’s comments might reflect internal messaging.
“Ultimately, the talking will be done on the field,” Mehrtens said. “The All Blacks have never given any credence to discussion around aura or the like.
“I’m sure this is the narrative that the team wants to get out there: that the All Blacks are under more pressure through expectation and the 35-year winning streak. It’s a bit of a shame that they’re trotting out a debutant to talk about an aura that supposedly is lessening, given he’s played one game against them.”
Mehrtens was adamant the All Blacks will be ready for the contest.
“I think there will be quite an incentive and determination to be a lot better this weekend,” he said.
“Australia have battled it out in a tough series against France. They were down and close to out on the weekend and clawed their way back into it.
“Maybe that’s what Rennie is trying to instil in them this week: go out and play like that last 15 to 20 minutes where you’ve got nothing further to lose and everything to gain.”
Watch every match of the Bledisloe Cup and The Rugby Championship with live, ad-free and on-demand coverage on Stan Sport continuing this Saturday from 4.30pm AEST.
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