The All Blacks' twin playmakers remain for their next Rugby World Cup match against Canada on Wednesday, coach Steve Hansen saying that Richie Mo'unga and Beauden Barrett need further game time in order to cement their increasingly promising combination.
There were suggestions Jordie Barrett would take over the No 10 jersey for this match at Oita Stadium but instead he's playing on the right wing, although it's possible Barrett the younger will get the reins four days later against Namibia in Tokyo.
Rieko Ioane gets his first chance of the World Cup with a start on the left wing, with Jack Goodhue back at centre following his hamstring injury and Sonny Bill Williams inside him at second-five.
There is a new-look front row and loose forward trio, with Shannon Frizell and Matt Todd starting in the latter which is led again by Kieran Read.
It is perhaps the selection of Mo'unga and Beauden Barrett together again which is the most interesting. The creative pair are key to the All Blacks' chances of progressing in this tournament.
"We want to give them time together," Hansen said. "We think that's important.
"They haven't played a lot of test matches together so they just need a bit more time together. I'm not saying it's not clicking or anything. It's just time."
Skipper Read said of the pair's importance: "Basically you make the toss and those guys take over the game. For me, I'll make a call to kick for the corner or take a shot at goal but they're the ones driving the team and rightly so. They're experienced and want to take that lead and I encourage them to do it."
As for Ioane, troubled by a calf problem during the week of the Tonga test in Hamilton and on the outer since the big defeat to the Wallabies in Perth, he's back and presumably keen to force his way past the in-form duo of Sevu Reece and George Bridge, neither of whom will feature in Oita.
"I hope he's keen," Hansen said of Ioane. "He's in a contest isn't he against two other guys who are playing wonderful rugby. We know that he's also capable of playing wonderful rugby and it's important he plays well and that he doesn't get too caught up in that contest, that he does the small things well; the big things will come for him. Once he does that and I'm sure he will the pressure comes back on the selectors.
"It's difficult when you're the top dog and someone comes along through injury or opportunity and puts you under pressure. I've been impressed with him; he's working hard."
There are several players making their World Cup debuts; including Ioane. The at times mercurial Jordie Barrett is another. The All Blacks, happy with their first win over the Boks and training hard to improve in the humidity of Beppu, will want to keep their shape against Canada and remaining disciplined in terms of gameplan will be a key in doing that.
"He's a very confident young man is our Jordie and he has every right to be confident," Hansen said. "He's a very skilled player. It's not his confidence that he has to get right it's his understanding. He wants to do everything at 100 miles an hour - we've spoken about that before in the media.
"He couldn't be in a better place to learn patience could he. They're a very patient race of people the Japanese so he's copying them at the moment. It's good.
"It's an experience thing… he's in a hurry. He's got two brothers that are ahead of him and when you're in a contest with your siblings you're always in a hurry because you want to prove not only to yourself but also your siblings and everybody else that you're better than they are. With that comes some habits that we have to quietly change and to his credit he's working hard on that."
Hansen added: "Canada probably haven't got the strength they have had in the past but what they are is a very proud team and nation. I think they're led by a very good rugby player in [Chiefs lock] Tyler Ardron. He has established himself as well as any other in Super Rugby. I read this morning that one of their players thinks he's a Joe Nobody and can't wait to be tackled by Kieran Read. That tells you their attitude is they're coming to the party."
The All Blacks team to face Canada:
15. Beauden Barrett, 14. Jordie Barrett, 13. Jack Goodhue, 12. Sonny Bill Williams, 11. Rieko Ioane, 10. Richie Mo'unga, 9. TJ Perenara, 8. Kieran Read (c), 7. Matt Todd, 6. Shannon Frizell, 5. Scott Barrett, 4. Patrick Tuipulotu, 3. Angus Ta'avao, 2. Liam Coltman, 1. Atu Moli.
16. Codie Taylor, 17. Ofa Tuungafasi, 18. Nepo Laulala, 19. Sam Whitelock, 20. Ardie Savea, 21. Brad Weber, 22. Ryan Crotty, 23. Ben Smith
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