Steve Hansen and the All Blacks selectors have shocked more than a few with their squad for this weekend's second Bledisloe Cup test.

Experienced incumbents Ben Smith, Owen Franks and Rieko Ioane have all been dropped for the must-win clash against the Wallabies at Eden Park, with Sevu Reece, Nepo Laulala and George Bridge taking spots in the starting side.

The moves came after the Wallabies' impressive 47-26 win in Perth last weekend, in which a number of the All Blacks played below their best while having to play the second half a man down. As a result, the All Blacks have made eight changes, with a number on the bench.

Throughout the All Blacks season, Hansen has said retaining the Bledisloe Cup was the most important focus outside of the World Cup and after an unconvincing win over Argentina, and draw with South Africa and a big loss to the Wallabies, the pressure is on from the All Blacks to perform this weekend.

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And that pressure is being piled on by Australian media, who haven't held back in their opinions of the All Blacks squad.

Fox Sports reported the changes were dramatic and controversial, and pointed to the All Blacks being in panic stations. The comments were echoed by the Daily Telegraph, who referred to the All Blacks selectors as desperate and that the selection changes "suggested serious misgivings about the direction of the All Blacks".


The All Blacks will roll out on to the turf at Eden Park on Saturday looking to retain the Bledisloe Cup and continue Australia's drought at the ground.

It's been 33 years since the Wallabies have won at Eden Park, while the All Blacks haven't lost a test at the ground since 1994. The closest the Wallabies have come to beating the All Blacks at the venue since 1986 was a 6-3 loss in 1991. In the past five matches between the two at the ground, the Wallabies have lost by an average margin of 27.2 points.

All Blacks team to face the Wallabies at Eden Park:

1. Joe Moody
2. Dane Coles
3. Nepo Laulala
4. Patrick Tuipulotu
5. Samuel Whitelock
6. Ardie Savea
7. Sam Cane
8. Kieran Read - captain
9. Aaron Smith
10. Richie Mo'unga
11. George Bridge
12. Sonny Bill Williams
13. Anton Lienert-Brown
14. Sevu Reece
15. Beauden Barrett

Reserves:

16. Codie Taylor
17. Ofa Tuungafasi
18. Angus Ta'avao
19. Jackson Hemopo
20. Matt Todd
21. TJ Perenara
22. Ngani Laumape
23. Jordie Barrett

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