Make way: Wyatt Crockett replaces the injured Tony Woodcock

THERE IS just one forced change from last week’s All Black’s starting XV, Crusaders prop Wyatt Crockett coming in for the injured Tony Woodcock at loosehead prop.

All Blacks Coach Steve Hansen said, while they had been happy with their first-up 27-19 win over the Wallabies in Sydney last weekend, the expectation of the team was to continue to seek improvement in its performance.

“We are expecting that Australia will take a step up in their intensity after last weekend’s loss and we will have to be ready for that challenge. Playing in front of our home crowd is always exciting for the All Blacks. The fans are important to us and getting the opportunity to play a home Test is one we cherish.”

Meanwhile, All Blacks squad members Charlie Faumuina, Tamati Ellison and Adam Thomson have been made available to their respective provinces for this week’s opening round of the ITM Cup, with All Blacks management keen for the trio to get some game time.

New Zealand v Australia
Saturday 25 August, at Eden Park, Auckland
Kick-Off: 08:35 live on Sky Sports 1

Starting XV:
1.         Wyatt Crockett (6)
2.         Keven Mealamu (94)
3.         Owen Franks (35)
4.         Luke Romano (2)
5.         Samuel Whitelock (29)
6.         Liam Messam (11)
7.         Richie McCaw – captain (107)
8.         Kieran Read (39)
9.         Aaron Smith (4)
10.       Daniel Carter (88)
11.       Hosea Gear (10)
12.       Sonny Bill Williams (18)
13.       Ma’a Nonu (67)
14.       Cory Jane (32)
15.       Israel Dagg (16)

Reserves:
16.       Andrew Hore (66)
17.       Ben Franks (19)
18.       Brodie Retallick (4)
19.       Victor Vito (14)
20.       Piri Weepu (60)
21.       Aaron Cruden (11)
22.       Ben Smith (5)

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