All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has kept faith in midfielder Ngani Laumape for the third and deciding test against the British & Irish Lions at Eden Park on Saturday.

More surprising is his decision to go for Jordie Barrett, another making his first test start, at fullback.

Barrett, the brother of first-five Beauden, played well off the reserves bench against Manu Samoa in the All Blacks' warm-up test three weeks ago and Hansen clearly thinks the 20-year-old can provide something different at the back in what is the most significant test here since the World Cup final in 2011.

Waisake Naholo, who didn't train fully during the week after taking a knock in the second-test defeat in Wellington, has been left out of the squad, with Julian Savea returning on the left wing and Israel Dagg, the fullback in Ben Smith's injury-forced absence last weekend, moving to the right wing.


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Malakai Fekitoa, brought into the squad following Ryan Crotty's hamstring injury and Sonny Bill Williams' suspension, has been named on the reserves bench. Left wing Rieko Ioane, who has started the last two tests, has been left out of the 23.

Laumape acquitted himself well when coming on for Williams after 25 minutes last weekend and will be told to back his instincts in the No12 jersey in order to create the attacking momentum the All Blacks couldn't find at Westpac Stadium.

With Anton Lienert-Brown outside him and Barrett the younger at the back, it is an extremely youthful and inexperienced backline - the trio have 14 caps between them - so the leadership of halfback Aaron Smith and Beauden Barrett at No10 will be crucial.

As if the test wasn't important enough for the world champions, it is also skipper Kieran Read's 100th, a milestone which he and his teammates will want to celebrate in the appropriate fashion.

"Firstly, on behalf of the All Blacks and all of New Zealand, I'd like to congratulate Reado on reaching the milestone of 100 test matches," Hansen said. "It's a special achievement to play just one test, so to play 100 is a remarkable effort.

"His playing ability speaks for itself and inspires others, and he now joins a unique group of special All Blacks. We'd also like to congratulate Jordie on making his first test start in what will be a very memorable occasion for him."

One intriguing aspect of the two Barrett backs playing alongside each other (a third, lock Scott, is on the reserves bench), is which one of them will kick for goal.


Beauden kicked at 100 per cent at Eden Park in the first test and while last weekend he became the first player in history to kick seven penalties in a match against the Lions, he missed a couple of relatively easy ones.

It is just one question in a test which will provide plenty of answers about both squads, who have taken very different approaches in preparation this week.

"This final match in the Lions series is going to be a cracker," Hansen added. "It's the series we expected it to be, as the Lions have quality players. It now comes down to this Saturday - the winner takes all - and that'll create its own unique pressures and it's going to be interesting to see how both sides cope with it.

"We've had a good week of preparation and are very excited by the opportunity that's ahead of us, and I'm sure the Lions are as well. We know it'll be a physical and intense match, but just as importantly, it'll be a game where both teams will have moments of momentum, and the ability of everyone to adapt and adjust throughout the 80 minutes will be crucial."

All Blacks team to play the Lions at Eden Park on Saturday night:

15. Jordie Barrett
14. Israel Dagg
13. Anton Lienert-Brown
12. Ngani Laumape
11. Julian Savea
10. Beauden Barrett
9. Aaron Smith
8. Kieran Read (c)
7. Sam Cane
6. Jerome Kaino
5. Sam Whitelock
4. Brodie Retallick
3. Owen Franks
2. Codie Taylor
1. Joe Moody

Reserves: Nathan Harris, Wyatt Crockett, Charlie Faumuina, Scott Barrett, Ardie Savea, TJ Perenara, Aaron Cruden, Malakai Fekitoa