Herald rugby writers Gregor Paul and Patrick McKendry answer three key questions ahead of the first Bledisloe Cup test against the Wallabies.

Who are you most looking forward to seeing in action?
Gregor Paul: The All Blacks missed Kieran Read in June and will be a different team with him back at No 8. He was looking good by the time the Crusaders played in the Super Rugby final but he still has more to eke out. He should give the All Blacks another attacking dimension in the wider channels and his ability to creatively get the ball out of contact presents a genuinely exciting prospect of seeing Rieko Ioane unleashed more. It's also just good to have Read back in the game after a serious injury.

Patrick McKendry: Jack Goodhue. He's one half of the future of the All Blacks midfield and his battle alongside Crusaders mate Ryan Crotty against Kurtley Beale and Reece Hodge is going to be fascinating. Much is made of Goodhue's decision making, defence and distribution skills but he's also a very hard and powerful runner and can be difficult to stop. Goodhue, 24, playing in only his second test, is definitely one to watch. He will be guaranteed to provide chances for others if not himself.

Which player will advance his cause the most?
GP: Waisake Naholo hasn't quite been able to deliver on the early promise he showed in 2015. Injury has affected him and irregular selections hasn't helped. But he's had a long stint of good club form now and the way the All Blacks are likely to play tonight should suit him. He should see plenty of ball, be told to back himself and challenge the defence and if he can start well, watch him grow in confidence and pull off the near impossible.


PM: Beauden Barrett. Being the All Blacks No 10 brings with a whole new level of pressure and scrutiny and Barrett generally handles it all extremely well. A big game from him would be helpful for the fact it will help the All Blacks' cause rather than keep the looming Richie Mo'unga at bay. Mo'unga's time will come, but Barrett is the man for the job at the moment in what could be the All Blacks' toughest test of the year. He is a quality 10 and will be playing behind a highly capable and motivated pack.

What if anything do you like about the Wallabies?
GP: They have a tighter and more aggressive pack and a desire to stay in the contest physically that hasn't always been there. They have the potential to score tries from anywhere and in Kurtley Beale and Israel Folau they have two of the best attacking weapons in world rugby who are becoming even more dangerous as a combination. If there are two areas of weakness they will need to be careful about it is their lack of height in the lineout and their bench looks a bit lightweight.

PM: A few thoughts struck when watching them train at the ANZ Stadium yesterday. First, they are an athletic looking line-up. They are also big, apart from the relatively short loose forwards Michael Hooper and David Pocock. They also look like a united outfit and will probably bring a hunger and intensity to the opening quarter which could set the All Blacks back on their heels. They have incredibly good ball players in their backline including Kurtley Beale and the powerful Israel Folau. They must not be under-estimated.