September 16, 2021
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Sotutu to start, Bower benched

Hoskins Sotutu who shares links to Fiji will start for the All Blacks against Argentina for their Rugby Championship clash on Saturday.

Sotutu will start at second row while another Fijian George Bower will come off the bench.

Bower has been reserved while Samisoni Taukei'aho will continue at props this week.

Damian McKenzie will make his first Test start at No.10 for three years after All Blacks coach Ian Foster overhauled his team for their Rugby Championship clash with Argentina on Saturday.

The fleet-footed playmaker, who has made all his Tests starts since 2018 at fullback, came off the bench when the All Blacks shut-out the Pumas 39-0 on the Gold Coast last weekend to maintain their 100 per cent record in the competition.

While McKenzie will lead a backline featuring only four of the players who started last week, the pack has been completely revamped with Ardie Savea returning to captain the side from openside flanker.

Foster decided to rest frontline players before two games against South Africa over successive weekends which will decide the Rugby Championship.

Jordie Barrett remains at fullback - rejoined in the back three by wingers Will Jordan and George Bridge - while his brother Beauden Barrett, who has had a slight calf muscle twinge to deal with this week, makes way for McKenzie's return at five-eighth.

Veteran loosehead prop Joe Moody will start a Test for the first time this season to combine with hooker Samisoni Taukei'aho and prop Tyrel Lomax in a new-look front row.

Tupou Vaa'i and Patrick Tuipulotu will combine in the second row while Savea, who missed last week's match with a head injury, joins Ethan Blackadder in the second row.

TJ Perenara is retained in the No.9 jersey, while Quinn Tupaea and Rieko Ioane will combine in midfield.

The All Blacks vs Argentina match will kick off at 7.05pm on Saturday.

All Blacks: Jordie Barrett, Will Jordan, Rieko Ioane, Quinn Tupaea, George Bridge, Damian McKenzie, TJ Perenara, Hoskins Sotutu, Ardie Savea (capt), Ethan Blackadder, Tupou Vaa'i, Patrick Tuipulotu, Tyrel Lomax, Samisoni Taukei'aho, Joe Moody.

Reserves: Codie Taylor, George Bower, Ofa Tuungafasi, Scott Barrett, Luke Jacobson, Finlay Christie, Beauden Barrett, Braydon Ennor.

By Romeka Romena  

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