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Todd named as NZ openside vs Wallabies

AAP logoAAP 20/10/2016 Angelo Risso

Giant winger Julian Savea has been recalled to the All Blacks to start against the Wallabies in Saturday's Bledisloe Cup Test at Eden Park.

Savea replaces the equally damaging Waisake Naholo after missing out on New Zealand's last-start nine-try, 57-15 thumping of South Africa in Durban that wrapped up their triumphant Rugby Championship campaign.

Veteran openside flanker Matt Todd has fended off the challenge of young gun Ardie Savea to retain his starting role while regular incumbent Sam Cane plays provincial rugby as he works his way back from injury

The world champions take on the Wallabies in the third Bledisloe dead rubber, hoping to complete a trans-Tasman series clean sweep and claim a record 18th consecutive Test win.

Savea will again come off the bench.

Elsewhere, youngster Anton Lienert-Brown retained his place at outside centre after impressive performances against Argentina and South Africa.

He will resume his midfield partnership with Ran Crotty, with Malakai Fekitoa taking a spot on the bench.

Five eighth Aaron Cruden returns to the bench as Beauden Barrett's back up after overcoming a groin strain, replacing Lima Sopoaga.

The All Blacks crushed Australia 42-8 and 29-9 in their first two Bledisloe encounters in August but Hansen expects a tougher challenge this time around.

"They've made some significant changes to their game and would like nothing better than to end their Southern Hemisphere Test season with a win," Hansen said.

"The stage is set for another huge trans-Tasman battle."

As expected, TJ Perenara will start at halfback after star No.9 Aaron Smith stood down from the match in response his reported Christchurch Airport toilet sex scandal.

ALL BLACKS: Ben Smith, Israel Dagg, Anton Lienert-Brown, Ryan Crotty, Julian Savea, Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara, Kieran Read (c), Matt Todd, Jerome Kaino, Samuel Whitelock, Brodie Retallick, Owen Franks, Dane Coles, Joe Moody. RESERVES: Codie Taylor, Wyatt Crockett, Charlie Faumuina, Liam Squire, Ardie Savea, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Aaron Cruden, Malakai Fekitoa.

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