Three things to know about the All Blacks side to face Australia

Kieran Read is set for a record start as captain if the All Blacks beat the Wallabies.
Kieran Read is set for a record start as captain if the All Blacks beat the Wallabies.

Three things to know about the All Blacks side to face Australia at Eden Park on Saturday as the side aims for an 18th-straight victory.

Changes

There are three changes to the side which beat South Africa in Durban two weeks ago, with all the changes coming in the backs. Winger Julian Savea returns to the 11 jersey, after being given a break in South Africa, replacing Waisake Naholo. Aaron Cruden has been named in the replacements, with Lima Sopoaga dropping out of the squad, while Malakai Fekitoa also moves onto the replacements bench for George Moala.

Records

In Durban, All Blacks captain Kieran Read equalled Martin Johnson's record of 18 consecutive wins as captain. He can break that record if he leads the side to a victory over the Wallabies on Saturday. Read will play his 94th test, to tie Conrad Smith in seventh on the list of most capped All Blacks.

Meanwhile prop Wyatt Crockett has played in 25 consecutive test victories. The world record is 28 by Lawrence Dallaglio. Crockett, who has played in 43 with a defeat, has a winning percentage of 97.22 from his 54 tests.

Crossing a line

The All Blacks have scored 54 tries in 2016, with opponents Australia scoring 23.

Only four players in the All Blacks starting XV have failed to score a test try this season - Joe Moody, Brodie Retallick, Owen Franks and Matt Todd. Moody and Retallick last scored a try a year ago in the quarter-final thrashing of France at the World Cup, while Franks has never scored a test try in 86 tests. Ben Smith, Israel Dagg and Beauden Barrett lead the way with seven tries each in 2016. Smith has scored in his last four tests, the second time in his career is achieved that. The record for consecutive tests scoring a try is eight, held by John Kirwan, Christian Cullen, Fijian Nemani Nadolo and Japan's Daisuke Ohata.

Julian Savea has five tries in 2016 while fellow backs TJ Perenara and Ryan Crotty both have four. Anton Lienert-Brown has just one.

Lienert-Brown, who will start at centre, was yet to be born (birthdate 15 April 1995) the last time the All Blacks lost at Eden Park in 1994.

The matchday 23 is (with Test caps in brackets):

1. Joe Moody (19)
2. Dane Coles (45)
3. Owen Franks (86)
4. Brodie Retallick (56)
5. Samuel Whitelock (81)
6. Jerome Kaino (73)
7. Matt Todd (5)
8. Kieran Read - capt (93)
9. TJ Perenara (25)
10. Beauden Barrett (45)
11. Julian Savea (48)
12. Ryan Crotty (23)
13. Anton Lienert-Brown (5)
14. Israel Dagg (57)
15. Ben Smith (57)

16. Codie Taylor (10)
17. Wyatt Crockett (54)
18. Charlie Faumuina (41)
19. Liam Squire (5)
20. Ardie Savea (8)
21. Tawera Kerr-Barlow (23)
22. Aaron Cruden (42)
23. Malakai Fekitoa (19)

- NZ Herald

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