All Blacks v Argentina: Beauden Barrett out as Ian Foster makes one change for Pumas test in Christchurch

All Blacks coach Ian Foster is sticking with the same side that beat South Africa at Ellis Park for Saturday’s test against Argentina at Orangetheory Stadium in Christchurch.

One change has been made to the team that played in Johannesburg, with the uncapped Stephen Perofeta in line to make his test debut as first five-eighths cover. Richie Mo’unga remains in the run-on side while Beauden Barrett has been made unavailable due to a neck injury sustained at training.

The rest of the side remains unchanged, providing an opportunity to build on combinations. That includes the front row group of Ethan de Groot, Samisoni Taukei’aho and Tyrel Lomax. George Bower, Codie Taylor and Fletcher Newell will again provide cover.

“It’s great for us to be able to return to Christchurch,” Foster said. “The All Blacks have such a rich history here and it’s exciting to build on that.

“The recent form of Argentina makes this a test one that we are looking forward to. And the fact that the Rugby Championship is incredibly even means this test is vital to us.”

Saturday will see a special milestone achieved by one of the team’s key players. New Zealand’s most capped international halfback, Aaron Smith (107), will mark his 100th test start when the sides kick off their Rugby Championship clash.

Argentina is set to play in New Zealand for the first time since 2018. The All Blacks have played them 37 times since 1976, while this will be just the third meeting between the sides in Christchurch.

All Blacks team to face the Pumas:

Jordie Barrett, Will Jordan, Rieko Ioane, David Havili, Caleb Clarke, Richie Mo’unga, Aaron Smith, Ardie Savea, Sam Cane (captain), Shannon Frizell, Scott Barrett, Sam Whitelock, Tyrel Lomax, Samisoni Taukei’aho, Ethan de Groot.

Reserves: Codie Taylor, George Bower, Fletcher Newell, Tupou Vaa’i, Akira Ioane, Finlay Christie, Stephen Perofeta *, Quinn Tupaea.

* debut.

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