Julian Savea's recall to the All Blacks for Saturday's test against the Wallabies after he sat out the last match against the Springboks is an indication of the team's mindset as they approach a match with a world record on the line.

Steve Hansen's team will want to launch a blitzkrieg assault from the first minute at their Eden Park fortress, and in a rested and motivated Savea they have the perfect attacking weapon.

Waisake Naholo makes way for the left wing, the only change to the starting line-up from the 57-15 thrashing of the Boks at Kings Park a fortnight ago.

That was Naholo's comeback from a hamstring injury suffered in the first victory of the year against the Wallabies in Sydney, and while the Highlanders flier acquitted himself well, Savea fully deserves to reclaim the No11 jersey he has virtually made his own since his debut in 2012.


Savea has suffered his form issues for the Hurricanes and All Blacks this year, but has played extremely well in his four starts during the Rugby Championship. On the reserves bench for the tournament opener against the Aussies at ANZ Stadium in August, Savea replaced Naholo just before halftime and scored one of the All Blacks' six tries in the 42-8 hammering.

Since that test Savea scored a try in each of his next three tests against Australia in Wellington, Argentina in Hamilton and South Africa in Christchurch. He now has an extraordinary 43 tries in 48 tests.

As a finisher Savea is virtually without peer, but it is his reliability which really sets him apart now. He struggled under the high ball at times in his first year at this level but is now a safe pair of hands; his ability to tidy up at the back alongside Ben Smith and Israel Dagg makes the All Blacks a formidable defensive unit.

But although Hansen has named an extremely strong line-up as he and the All Blacks chase a record 18th consecutive test win, eyebrows from outside the group might be raised at the selection of Matt Todd in the No7 jersey ahead of Ardie Savea.

Todd made his starting debut on the openside flank against the Boks at Kings Park and clearly did enough to convince Hansen to leave him there. It is an intriguing selection given Savea's form since his debut during the Wales series and has clearly been made to combat the threat of the returning David Pocock at the breakdown.

It is a big show of faith, too, in Todd, who has had to show immense patience during the reign of Richie McCaw and then watched as first Sam Cane and then Savea overtook him.

The 28-year-old, preparing to play in his sixth test, doesn't have the power of Savea, but is an extremely good defender and is quick to latch on to the ball on the ground - crucial attributes for combating Pocock. Savea will be relied upon to drive the pace to a level the Wallabies can't withstand in the second half.

The impressive Anton Lienert-Brown retains his place at centre alongside Ryan Crotty, with Aaron Cruden forcing his way on to the reserves bench after recovering from a groin injury, with Malakai Fekitoa also named on the bench.


"Australia will be coming here with a lot more confidence than when we played earlier in the season. They've made some significant changes to their game and would like nothing better [than] to end their Southern Hemisphere test season with a win," Hansen said.

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)