New Zealand gearing up for record-breaking game against Australia

They are looking for their 18th straight test win

BY Simon Maguire 14:32 Friday 21 October 2016, 14:32 21 Oct 2016

Kieran Read leads the All Blacks during the Haka Mandatory Credit ยฉINPHO/Photosport

New Zealand face Australia tomorrow in Auckland at their Eden Park fortress looking for a record-breaking 18th test victory in a row.

It is the third and final Bledisloe Cup match of the year and turns out to be a dead rubber after New Zealand wrapped up the cup up in two games earlier this season.

The All Blacks have made just three changes to the squad that pummelled South Africa 57-15 two weeks ago: Julian Savea comes into the starting line-up to replace Waisake Naholo with Aaron Cruden and Malakai Fekitoa coming onto the bench.

Australia have moved Reece Hodge to first-centre with Benard Foley slotting in at out-half. Henry Speight comes in on the wing with Nick Phipps starting at scrum-half. Quade Cooper and David Pocock have been named on the bench.

The task facing Australia is immense. They haven't beaten New Zealand at Eden Park since 1986 and haven't won on kiwi soil since 2001. They have already lost twice to their great rivals this year by scores of 42-8 and 29-9.

Oddly, New Zealand were on a similar role in 2012, when they landed in Brisbane looking for a 17th win on the spin - only to come unstuck and draw 18-18 against an injury-ravaged Australian team.  

All Blacks: 1. Joe Moody 2. Dane Coles 3. Owen Franks 4. Brodie Retallick 5. Samuel Whitelock
6. Jerome Kaino 7. Matt Todd 8. Kieran Read (c) 9. TJ Perenara 10. Beauden Barrett 11. Julian Savea 12. Ryan Crotty 13. Anton Lienert-Brown 14. Israel Dagg 15. Ben Smith
Reserves: 16. Codie Taylor 17. Wyatt Crockett 18. Charlie Faumuina 19. Liam Squire 20. Ardie Savea 21. Tawera Kerr-Barlow 22. Aaron Cruden 23. Malakai Fekitoa

Australia: 1. Scott Sio 2. Stephen Moore (c) 3. Sekope Kepu 4. Rory Arnold 5. Adam Coleman 6. Dean Mumm 7. Michael Hooper 8. Lopeti Timani 9. Nick Phipps 10. Bernard Foley 11. Henry Speight 12. Reece Hodge 13. Samu Kerevi 14. Dane Haylett-Petty 15. Israel Folau
Reserves: 16. James Hanson 17. Tom Robertson 18. Allan Alaalatoa 19. Rob Simmons 20. David Pocock 21. Nick Frisby 22. Quade Cooper 23. Sefa Naivalu


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