It is the first time since 2015 that the All Blacks selectors have named the same starting XV in consecutive tests.

The selectors appear keen on cementing combinations in this match with the view to possible tinkering for the final test in Dunedin.

Sonny Bill Williams has been training with the squad after his return from injury and he may return for the third test.

There may also be some changes to the back three with Waisake Naholo getting game time.


Captain Sam Whitelock, the most capped lock of all time, will play his 98th test on Saturday.

Ben Smith, who scored his 30th test try during the first test, is 11th on the All Blacks try-scoring list behind Doug Howett (49), Julian Savea, Christian Cullen and Joe Rokocoko (46), Jeff Wilson (44), Jonah Lomu (37), Tana Umaga (36), John Kirwan (35), Mils Muliaina (34) and Ma'a Nonu (31).

The All Blacks and France have played 59 times since 1906, with the All Blacks winning 46 and France 12.