Rugby – Williams to earn 50th cap, Perenara in at scrumhalf
TOKYO (Reuters) – Sonny Bill Williams will earn his 50th cap for New Zealand after being named in the side for their dead rubber Bledisloe Cup test against Australia in Yokohama on Saturday.
Williams will be partnered by Ryan Crotty in midfield with Ben Smith moving to right wing to accommodate Damian McKenzie at fullback.
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has named TJ Perenara at scrumhalf instead of Aaron Smith in a change from their Rugby Championship victory over South Africa earlier this month, while there is also a return to the side for prop Joe Moody.
Lock Brodie Retallick, who is also returning from injury, will start on the bench.
Hansen’s team are without flanker Sam Cane, who suffered a broken bone in his neck against South Africa, with Liam Squire taking the number six jersey.
New Zealand have already ensured they would retain the Bledisloe Cup by winning the first two games in the series.
Team: 15-Damian McKenzie, 14-Ben Smith, 13-Ryan Crotty, 12-Sonny Bill Williams, 11-Rieko Ioane, 10-Beauden Barrett, 9-TJ Perenara, 8-Kieran Read (captain), 7-Ardie Savea, 6-Liam Squire, 5-Scott Barrett, 4-Sam Whitelock, 3-Owen Franks, 2-Codie Taylor, 1- Joe Moody
Replacements: 16-Nathan Harris, 17-Karl Tu’inukuafe, 18-Nepo Laulala, 19-Brodie Retallick, 20-Matt Todd, 21-Aaron Smith, 22-Richie Mo’unga, 23-Anton Lienert-Brown