All you need to know ahead of the All Blacks' clash against Australia at Perth's Optus Stadium on Sunday, 5 September, kick-off at 6pm:
The Wallabies host the All Blacks in a rare Sunday afternoon match at the international level. Turns out that's not the only unusual occurrence in a Rugby Championship compressed from four countries into one Australian state — at least from next week.
Covid-19 restrictions first postponed Sunday's finale of the Bledisloe Cup at Perth from late August when the All Blacks were unwilling to travel to the Western Australian capital after the lockdown in New Zealand. They'd already clinched the annual series between the transtasman rivals for the 19th straight year with wins over two weekends at Auckland's Eden Park.
On Sunday in Perth, All Black Beauden Barrett will return to the No 10 jersey in which he twice was voted the world's best player. Barrett has played only sporadically at first five for the All Blacks over the past two years, since Richie Mo'unga succeeded him in the starting role. Most of his recent test appearances have been at fullback or from the bench.
For the Wallabies, Samu Kerevi and Izack Rodda will make their long-awaited returns. Kerevi comes into the side at inside centre for Hunter Paisami, who will miss the game due to the birth of his child. It will mark Kerevi's first appearance since the 2019 Rugby World Cup, having spent the past two years in Japan playing for Suntory.
Rodda will come off the bench in place of Lukhan Salakaia-Loto in front of his new home crowd after signing with the Perth-based Western Force for the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific season.
New Zealand will be looking to complete a 3-0 clean-sweep of the Bledisloe series.
"We are ready and the team is really determined to finish off this block of tests against Australia with a top performance," head coach Ian Foster said.
"We've had a really unique situation going into this test with quarantine back in New Zealand and a 'soft' quarantine here in Perth. But the work that has gone in preparing the players has been outstanding."
All Blacks: Jordie Barrett, Will Jordan, Anton Lienert-Brown, David Havili, Rieko Ioane, Beauden Barrett, Brad Weber, Ardie Savea (captain), Dalton Papalii, Akira Ioane, Scott Barrett, Brodie Retallick, Nepo Laulala, Codie Taylor, George Bower.
Reserves: Samisoni Taukei'aho, Karl Tu'inukuafe, Angus Ta'avao, Tupou Vaa'i, TJ Perenara, Ethan Blackadder, Damian McKenzie, George Bridge.
Australia: Tom Banks, Andrew Kellaway, Len Ikitau, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Noah Lolesio, Tate McDermott, Rob Valetini, Michael Hooper (c), Lachlan Swinton, Matt Philip, Darcy Swain, Allan Alaalatoa, Folau Fainga'a, James Slipper.
Reserves: Lachlan Lonergan, Angus Bell, Taniela Tupou, Izack Rodda, Pete Samu, Nic White, Reece Hodge, Jordan Petaia.
Last five tests
2020: All Blacks 27, Australia 7, Auckland
2020: Australia 5, All Blacks 43, Sydney
2020: Australia 24, All Blacks 22, Brisbane
2021: All Blacks 33, Australia 25, Auckland
2021: All Blacks 57, Australia 22, Auckland
All Blacks: $1.14
Points start: -16.5 All Blacks
Clear, fine weather is predicted for Perth on Sunday evening with zero chance of rain.
How to catch the action
The Herald will provide live updates. You can catch live commentary of the match on Newstalk ZB, Gold AM and iHeartRadio.
The match will be broadcast live on Sky Sport 1, with coverage beginning at 5:15pm. If you want to watch the match online, you can stream the game live via Sky Sport Now.