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All Blacks star Beauden Barrett ruled out on eve of Bledisloe opener

The All Blacks could have moved winger Jordie Barrett to fullback – his preferred position – and reshuffled their backline but have opted for a straight swap instead.


“Beaudie’s achilles flared up a little bit at training yesterday [Friday] afternoon,” Foster said on Saturday at the team’s captain’s run.

“It settled down overnight and is not too bad. He’s kicking out there now but we just made a decision for the first Test to pull him out early.”

Wallabies captain Michael Hooper assured his side was ready for the challenge.

“Are we ready? Yeah we’re ready,” Hooper said. “Who would have thought at one point … any of us would be playing Test rugby this year. We’re all so pumped.”

Wallabies (1-15): James Slipper, Folau Fainga’a, Taniela Tupou, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Matt Philip, Harry Wilson, Michael Hooper, Pete Samu, Nic White, James O’Connor, Marika Koroibete, Matt To’omua, Hunter Paisami, Filipo Daugunu, Tom Banks.

Bench: Jordan Uelese, Scott Sio, Allan Alaalatoa, Rob Simmons, Rob Valetini, Jake Gordon, Noah Lolesio, Reece Hodge.

All Blacks (1-15): Joe Moody, Codie Taylor, Ofa Tuungafasi, Patrick Tuipulotu, Sam Whitelock, Shannon Frizell, Sam Cane (c), Ardie Savea, Aaron Smith, Richie Mo’unga, George Bridge, Jack Goodhue, Rieko Ioane, Jordie Barrett, Damian McKenzie.

Bench: Dane Coles, Karl Tu’inukuafe, Nepo Laulala, Tupou Vaa’i, Hoskins Sotutu, TJ Perenara, Anton Lienert-Brown, Caleb Clarke.

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