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Beauden Barrett at 10, Josh Ioane to debut off the bench as All Blacks name squad to face Tonga

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has announced his squad for this weekend's Test against Tonga in Hamilton with Josh Ioane set to make his debut off the bench.

Saturday's Test is the final outing for the All Blacks before they begin their World Cup campaign against the Springboks in Yokohama two weeks later.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said there was a genuine feel of excitement in camp building up to the Test.

"It's great to get the squad together and start preparing for what will be a great match against Tonga. We know the Rugby World Cup is just around the corner, but we are focusing on 'right here, right now'," he said.
 
"The players have brought real energy into our preparations here in Hamilton and the key will be to harness that excitement and put in a skillful and clinical performance on Saturday.
 
"Tonga will be targeting this game in a bid to build momentum into their Rugby World Cup campaign, and so are we, as it's going to be important for both teams to head into the tournament with confidence."

The team features multiple changes to the one that defended the Bledisloe Cup last month, starting with hooker Dane Coles out of the 23 altogether as Codie Taylor takes over the No. 2 jersey and Liam Coltman providing cover off the bench.

The new look loose forward trio has been broken up with Matt Todd starting at openside in place of Sam Cane with Ardie Savea and Kieran Read. World Cup bolter Luke Jacobson will cover the trio in the reserves.

In the backline, the biggest change sees Beauden Barrett return to first-five from fullback with Richie Mo'unga out injured.

That has seen veteran Ben Smith return to the starting line-up in his preferred role of fullback with rookie Ioane set to make his debut off the bench.

Inside Barrett at halfback will be TJ Perenara, who has swapped places with Aaron Smith while Ryan Crotty has also been injected into the starting line-up after a successful return from injury last weekend.

All Blacks

1. Joe Moody (40)
2. Codie Taylor (44)
3. Nepo Laulala (19)
4. Patrick Tuipulotu (24)
5. Samuel Whitelock (111)
6. Ardie Savea (38)
7. Matt Todd (20)
8. Kieran Read - captain (121)
9. TJ Perenara (58)
10. Beauden Barrett (77)
11. George Bridge (4)
12. Ryan Crotty (44)
13. Anton Lienert-Brown (37)
14. Sevu Reece (2)
15. Ben Smith (79)

16. Liam Coltman (5)
17. Ofa Tuungafasi (29)
18. Angus Ta'avao (7)
19. Scott Barrett (30)
20. Luke Jacobson (1)
21. Aaron Smith (86)
22. Josh Ioane *
23. Jordie Barrett (11)

Source: Photosport