Hello and welcome to Halftime Report, the Herald Sport's daily wrap of the biggest sports news of the day. Today, it's Richie Mo'unga time for the All Blacks, the Warriors try to keep things simple, and more fallout from Nike's Colin Kaepernick ad. (And no, Beauden Barrett wasn't dumped by the All Blacks.)

All Blacks make sweeping changes for Pumas test

The headline news is the presence of Richie Mo'unga in the No 10 jersey. As expected the All Blacks have shuffled their play-maker, introduced a new finishing weapon in Nehe Milner-Skudder and asked Shannon Frizell to back up his promising first cap, writes Gregor Paul.

Just over a week ago, Beauden Barrett silenced his critics with perhaps his best performance in an All Black jersey against the Wallabies at Eden Park. But now Steve Hansen has handed Mo'unga his opportunity to prove his worth.

Regardless of his position in the All Blacks pecking order, Mo'unga gives off a vibe that invokes a particular sense of confidence he's going to deliver on his immense promise, just like a certain All Black legend before him.

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Warriors to keep it simple against the Panthers

The bigger the game, the simpler you need to play – that's the message five-eighth Blake Green has been preaching to the Warriors ahead of Saturday's sudden-death NRL finals clash against Penrith. David Skipwith reports on the state of the Warriors camp leading up to their biggest game since 2011.

Meanwhile, it's time for key Warriors duo Peta Hiku and David Fusitu'a to shine. They clicked from their first game together in round one, but the impressive partnership between Hiku and Fusitu'a is no overnight sensation, writes Michael Burgess.

Trump just did it…again

The day after Nike unveiled an advertising campaign centred on Colin Kaepernick, American President Donald Trump took aim at the company and at the NFL in a tweet, continuing criticism he began Wednesday.

This comes after Nike reportedly lost over $5 billion since unveiling the new ad. However, it is unclear if this was due to Kaepernick or other market forces, as Adidas and Pumas' shares also fell. But it may not matter for the largest sportswear company on the planet, who seem to be wagering on long-term success with younger customers.

Other news you need to know

Bevin extends lead at Tour of Britain: Patrick Bevin has extended his lead at the Tour of Britain after a bold late raid on stage four this morning.

Hooker gets his man: In a worldwide exclusive, Christopher Reive reveals that Kiwi UFC lightweight Dan Hooker will finally get the fight he wanted and will square off against No 6 ranked Edson Barboza in Milwaukee on December 16.

Drugs, stun guns, race-fixing: Three more Canterbury racing figures have been charged as part of police investigations into harness racing's race-fixing scandal.

Breakers sign former NBA big man: After releasing centre Jerrelle Benimon due to family issues earlier this week, the Breakers have instead signed former Philadelphia 76ers big man Shawn Long on a one-year deal.

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The Back Page

NZ Herald sports backpage.
NZ Herald sports backpage.

Hot Take Corner

• Nike have tainted worthy cause with marketing ploy: Colin Kaepernick is now, thanks to multinational sneaker company Nike, an advertising slogan, Martin Devlin opines.

• Why harness racing may never be the same again: The show will go on, but it may never be the same thanks to one of the worst scandals in New Zealand racing history, writes Michael Guerin.

What We're Reading

• A football family and a sportswriter, bound by grief: In beautiful but heartbreaking piece, ESPN's Ivan Maisel talks to Kym and Mark Hilinski about coping with grief after the death of their son Tyler.

• Will the revolution be branded?: Dave Zirin from the Nation provides a much-needed, nuanced take on the tension between activism and capitalism in Nike's Colin Kaepernick ad.

• Novak Djokovic takes on John Millman in the US Open quarter-finals today. Here's a brilliant multimedia piece by the NY Times looking at the mastery of Djokovic's tennis return.

Image of the Day

Rafael Nadal celebrates after surviving a stunning five set epic against Dominic Thiem at US Open. Photo / Photosport
Rafael Nadal celebrates after surviving a stunning five set epic against Dominic Thiem at US Open. Photo / Photosport

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