Steve Hansen

With the series sealed after the two test played against the French Hansen has mixed it up for the third and final test match this weekend.

There will be four new caps in the match-day 23.

This is the first time we have seen Hansen push the boundaries this hard for a test match but with the series sealed it is a great opportunity to try a few things.

It just hasn’t been Hansen’s style to throw such caution to the wind and what makes this particular team more vulnerable and more of a risk, is the specific journeys of some of the players and the combined lack of experience in specific areas of the team.

Shannon Frizell starts at blindside on the back of only a handful of games for the Highlanders in his first Super Rugby campaign.

He scored a hat-trick against the Blues in April and physically he looks the part. In what limited game time he has had in Super Rugby, his intentions have been to get involved, carry hard and tackle hard.

Hemopo is another wild card – not originally picked in the 33 man squad, he finds himself on the bench after just six days with the team.

He’s been impressive in Super Rugby and knocked the British and Irish Lions about last year and as Hansen said, deserves his call-up. Still, it’s unusual for the All Blacks to rush a new player so quickly into action.

Jack Goodhue and Richie Mo’unga both played for the All Blacks against the French XV in Lyon last year and both have spent this Super Rugby campaign knocking on the door of a test cap.

All Blacks team to play France at Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday, kick-off 7.35pm is:
15. Ben Smith, 14. Waisake Naholo, 13. Jack Goodhue, 12. Sonny Bill Williams. 11. Rieko Ioane, 10. Damian McKenzie, 9. Aaron Smith, 8. Luke Whitelock, 7. Ardie Savea, 6. Shannon Frizell, 5. Scott Barrett, 4. Sam Whitelock ©, 3. Owen Franks, 2. Codie Taylor, 1. Joe Moody.

Reserves: Liam Coltman, Karl Tu’inukuafe, Ofa Tuungafasi, Jackson Hemopo, Matt Todd, TJ Perenara, Richie Mo’unga, Jordie Barrett.

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