All Blacks to be without Ardie Savea for Bledisloe trip
Game-breaking All Black Ardie Savea will miss next week’s Bledisloe Cup match in Melbourne in a reprieve for the Wallabies as they seek to break a 20-year drought.
The veteran loose forward is regularly one of New Zealand’s best, helping his team rebound to thrash Argentina by 50 points in their Rugby Championship match last Saturday in Hamilton.
The trans-Tasman rivals will meet on Thursday week at Marvel Stadium, but Savea will remain in New Zealand to prepare for the birth of his third child,
He is expected to be available for the return match at Eden Park in Auckland on September 24.
While the All Blacks are savouring a return to form, the Wallabies are licking their wounds after crashing to a disappointing 24-8 loss to South Africa in Sydney.
Australia must win both fixtures, which double as part of the Rugby Championship, to regain the Bledisloe Cup which has been in New Zealand’s hands since 2002.
As well as No.8 Savea, blindside flanker Shannon Frizell has been ruled out of the 33-man squad after suffering a rib injury in their win over the Pumas.
Luke Jacobson has taken his place in the squad, seeking to add to his 12 Tests.
NZ: Forwards – Codie Taylor, Samisoni Taukei’aho, Dane Coles, Nepo Laulala, Ofa Tuungafasi, George Bower, Fletcher Newell, Ethan de Groot, Tyrel Lomax, Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick, Tupou Vaa’i, Scott Barrett, Sam Cane, Luke Jacobson, Dalton Papalii, Akira Ioane, Hoskins Sotutu. Backs – Aaron Smith, Folau Fakatava, Finlay Christie, Beauden Barrett, Stephen Perofeta, Richie Mo’unga, Rieko Ioane, Quinn Tupaea, David Havili, Braydon Ennor, Leicester Fainga’anuku, Caleb Clarke, Sevu Reece, Jordie Barrett, Will Jordan.
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