By NZ Herald

All you need to know ahead of the All Blacks’ clash against the Wallabies in Bledisloe IV at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

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With the Bledisloe Cup locked in for another year, the All Blacks will give an opportunity to several rookies and returning players for their fourth and final clash against the Wallabies.

Head coach Ian Foster has named four players who are set to make their All Blacks test debuts, including Akira Ioane who starts at blindside flanker, while veterans Sevu Reece and Ngani Laumape also return to the side.

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“We have reset this week and our focus has been on this weekend and the Investec Tri Nations,” Foster said.

“It’s an All Blacks-Wallabies test and that’s special. We know how fired up they’ll be, so we have to make sure we are as well, because we don’t want to give ourselves any excuses at the end of it.”

Foster said the new players are raring to go.

“We’ve been really delighted with the whole squad, so we feel that there are some players who are really putting their hand up and deserve an opportunity.

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“Secondly, it’s been a big three-week test series to date against Australia. It’ll be another massive test, so we’ve brought in some freshness and new energy into the group. Players are jumping out of their skins to get onto the park.”

The All Blacks will be handed a unique challenge this weekend due to Covid-19 protocols for the tournament.

In a unique build-up to the test, the All Blacks will fly from Sydney into Brisbane several hours before the game and return to Sydney post-game.

“We have to change the structure of our game day preparation, but we don’t have to change the approach,” Foster said.

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“It’s obviously going to be a different test day for us, but it doesn’t mean it’s going to be disruptive. We’ve worked hard on getting a structure in place that we think is the right one for Saturday and just have to make sure that when the whistle goes, we are ready.”

Match details: Saturday, November 7 at 9.45pm, Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane

Squads

All Blacks: Jordie Barrett, Sevu Reece, Anton Lienert-Brown, Ngani Laumape, Rieko Ioane, Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara; Ardie Savea, Sam Cane (c), Akira Ioane, Sam Whitelock, Scott Barrett, Ofa Tuungafasi, Codie Taylor, Karl Tu’inukuafe. Reserves: Asafo Aumua, Alex Hodgman, Tyrel Lomax, Patrick Tuipulotu, Cullen Grace, Brad Weber, Damian McKenzie, Will Jordan.

Wallabies: Tom Banks, Tom Wright, Jordan Petaia, Hunter Paisami, Marika Koroibete, Reece Hodge, Nic White; Harry Wilson, Michael Hooper (c), Lachie Swinton, Matt Philip, Rob Simmons, Allan Alaalatoa, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, James Slipper. Reserves: Folau Fainga’a, Angus Bell, Taniela Tupou, Ned Hanigan, Liam Wright, Tate McDermott, Noah Lolesio, Filipo Daugunu.

Last five encounters

2019: 47–26 Australia – Optus Stadium, Perth
2019: 36–0 All Blacks – Eden Park, Auckland
2020: 16-16 draw – Sky Stadium, Wellington
2020: 27-7 All Blacks – Eden Park, Auckland
2020: 43-5 All Blacks – ANZ Stadium, Sydney

Odds

All Blacks: $1.13
Wallabies: $5.40

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This article first appeared on nzherald.co.nz and was republished with permission.

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