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Super sub Beauden Barrett to start at 10 for All Blacks

You couldn't deny him any longer. Beauden Barrett will start at first five-eighth for the All Blacks against the Wallabies in the Rugby Championship opener in Sydney on Saturday night.

The super sub has emerged as arguably the best player on the planet this season and has finally got a start ahead of a fit Aaron Cruden.

Barrett did start the last test against Wales in June, when Cruden was injured, but his irrepressible form that led the Hurricanes to their maiden Super Rugby title could no longer be ignored.

Elsewhere, 27-year-old Tasman and Chiefs prop Kane Hames comes into the All Blacks squad as an injury replacement for Joe Moody and will become the sixth new All Black of 2016 and All Black number 1152 if he takes the field off the bench.

Nathan Harris starts at hooker in the place of the injured Dane Coles while Sam Cane keeps Ardie Savea on the bench.

As expected, Malakai Fekitoa and Ryan Crotty start in the midfield while a back-three of Israel Dagg, Ben Smith and Waisake Naholo means Julian Savea will start in the reserves as well.

"The selectors are very happy with the 23 selected for this Test match and we're looking forward to seeing them play,” All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said. 

"This Test match will be another stepping stone in the re-establishment of this group on the international stage and we know that Australia will throw everything at us, which is what Test rugby is all about.

"With more than 800 Test caps of experience in our matchday 23, I'm confident we have the experience to deal with the challenge."

ALL BLACKS: Israel Dagg, Ben Smith, Malakai Fekitoa, Ryan Crotty, Waisake Naholo, Beauden Barrett, Aaron Smith, Kieran Read (c), Sam Cane, Jerome Kaino, Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick, Owen Franks, Nathan Harris, Wyatt Crockett. Reserves: Codie Taylor, Kane Hames, Charlie Faumuina, Liam Squire, Ardie Savea, TJ Perenara, Aaron Cruden, Julian Savea.

Beauden Barrett will get his big chance against Australia in Sydney on Saturday night. Source: 1 NEWS


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