Rugby-All Blacks skipper Cane out of Wallabies clash, Savea returns

  • Rugby
  • Thursday, 22 Sep 2022

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Rugby Championship - South Africa v New Zealand - Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa - August 13, 2022 New Zealand's Sam Cane holds the Freedom Cup trophy and celebrates with teammates after winning the match REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

(Reuters) - The All Blacks will be without skipper Sam Cane for the clash with Australia at Eden Park this weekend but Ardie Savea returns to the back row for the final round Rugby Championship fixture.

Flanker Cane and centre David Havili suffered concussions in the 39-37 win over the Wallabies in Melbourne in New Zealand's last outing and both miss Saturday's return match in Auckland.

Lock Sam Whitelock will lead the side in Cane's absence for a match which the All Blacks need to win as convincingly as possible to ensure South Africa do not pip them to the title after their final-round encounter with Argentina.

Dalton Papali'i replaces Cane at openside flanker in an entirely new back row with Akira Ioane in at blindside for the injured Scott Barrett and Savea back at number eight after missing the Melbourne match for the birth of his third child.

As he did during the Melbourne match, Jordie Barrett moves forward from fullback to replace Havili at inside centre with his brother Beauden promoted from the bench to play in the number 15 shirt.

Coach Ian Foster also named Codie Taylor at hooker with Samisoni Taukei'aho backing up from the bench and Dane Coles dropping out of the squad.

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck comes onto the bench as midfield cover in place of Quinn Tupaea, who came on as a replacement in Melbourne but suffered a season-ending knee injury.

Wallabies lock Darcy Swain was on Thursday handed a six-week ban for the dangerous cleanout which led to Tupaea's injury.

Team: 15-Beauden Barratt, 14-Will Jordan, 13-Rieko Ioane, 12-Jordie Barrett, 11-Caleb Clarke, 10-Richie Mo'unga, 9-Aaron Smith, 8-Ardie Savea, 7-Dalton Papali'i, 6-Akira Ioane, 5-Sam Whitelock (captain), 4-Brodie Retallick, 3-Tyrel Lomax, 2-Codie Taylor, 1-Ethan de Groot

Replacements: 16-Samisoni Taukei'aho, 17-Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 18-Nepo Laulala, 19-Tupou Vaa'i, 20-Hoskins Sotutu, 21-Finlay Christie, 22-Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 23-Sevu Reece

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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