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Rugby Championship: All Blacks can run riot at MCG

It’s set to be a real spectacle when Australia host old rivals New Zealand at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground on Saturday night.

However, it might be tough watching for Wallabies supporters as they face a mighty challenge to overcome the All Blacks and try to avoid the Rugby Championship’s wooden spoon. 

Wallabies with point to prove

WhatAustralia v New Zealand
WhereMelbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne
When19:45 (AEST), Saturday 29th July 2023
How to watchChannel 9 & Stan Sport
OddsAustralia 7.50, New Zealand 1.083

Losing their opening two games of the Rugby Championship against South Africa in Pretoria and Argentina in Parramatta, the Wallabies face the real prospect of finishing bottom of the table this season.

The shortened version of the Rugby Championship this year due to the upcoming World Cup in France means Australia have given themselves little time for a reprieve after defeats to the Boks and the Pumas.

With the unbeaten All Blacks heading to Melbourne this weekend, head coach Eddie Jones will be looking for a resilient performance from his side, who are out at 7.50 to spring a shock victory against the Kiwis. 

Looking for players to step up and make a claim for starting roles at the World Cup on the horizon, Jones has made seven changes from the side that was beaten by Argentina.

Allan Alaalatoa will lead Australia in the absence of Michael Hooper, who is sidelined for this clash with a calf injury.

Quade Cooper started against both the Boks and Pumas at fly-half but Carter Gordon has been given the No.10 jersey is his first start for his country.

It’s a big test for Gordon against the All Blacks but the 22-year-old will have a familiar face in fellow Sunshine Coast product Tate McDermott alongside him in the half-backs.

Andrew Kellaway and Jordan Petaia also come into a new-look backline which will be hoping to have more of a punch in attack and grit in defence against a settled New Zealand side.

All Blacks will give no quarter

With New Zealand’s starting lineup looking very settled going into this encounter, the All Blacks will be tough to topple.

Winning their first two games against Argentina in Mendoza and South Africa in Auckland, the All Blacks are shaping up nicely ahead of the World Cup.

Favourites at 1.083 for the win on Saturday, the Kiwis are also available at 1.90 to win with -17.5 in the Line market.

New Zealand will be without skipper Sam Cane due to a neck strain, so Ardie Savea will be wearing the armband in Melbourne.

The loss of Cane is the only difference from the All Blacks side that secured a 35-20 win over the Boks two weeks ago, and this settled side is likely to have too much quality for a Wallabies side that have work to do to be competitive at the World Cup on French soil.

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