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Bledisloe Cup: Eddie Jones sticking with his young guns

Despite losing the first Bledisloe Cup clash against New Zealand 38-7 in Melbourne, Australia head coach Eddie Jones has decided to stick with a young side to face the All Blacks again on Saturday.

The Wallabies make the trip to Dunedin with confidence not at its highest but Jones is determined to see what the country’s rising stars can do with their backs against the wall ahead of the World Cup on French soil.

WhatNew Zealand v Australia
WhereForsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
When12:35 (AEST) Saturday 5th August, 2023
How to watchChannel 9, Stan Sport
OddsNew Zealand 1.03, Australia 11.00

McDermott handed the armband

With injury to Allan Alaalatoa at the MCG in the first Bledisloe Cup clash, scrumhalf Tate McDermott has been named skipper for the trip to Dunedin.

The 24-year-old will captain his country for the first time in just his second start alongside flyhalf Carter Gordon.

Never afraid to make a bold call in selection, Jones believes McDermott is the ideal skipper for the weekend and potentially beyond Saturday’s game with the Kiwis.

“Tate’s got all the attributes to be a great captain of his country and there’s no doubt it will be a proud moment for him and his family when he leads the team on Saturday night,” Jones said.

“We started a regeneration as a team last week and now it’s about building on that with a new captain and a new era in Australian Rugby.”

The selection means experienced scrumhalf Nic White is again on the bench alongside his halfback partner Quade Cooper.

White and Cooper started the first two matches of the Rugby Championship but both matches ended in defeat at the hands of South Africa and Argentina.

Jones has opted for an inexperienced side once again for the weekend, with Pone Fa’amausili, Tom Hooper, Gordon and Mark Nawaqanitawase all on single figures when it comes to Test matches.

Unsurprisingly the Wallabies are heavy underdogs at 11.00 to pull off a shock victory on the road but they will come up against a new-look New Zealand side on Saturday.

Foster rings the changes

After an impressive victory in Melbourne, All Blacks head coach Ian Foster has rung the changes with no less than 13 changes to his starting lineup.

With the World Cup edging closer, Foster is looking to test some new faces and combinations.

Will Jordan has been moved from the wing to fullback, meaning Shaun Stevenson, who 1.50 to score Anytime, has been named in the starting lineup for his international debut. 

There’s another debutant in the forwards with Samipeni Finau starting at blindside flanker, while on the bench utility back Dallas McLeod will make his debut when called from the bench.

New Zealand are boosted by the return of skipper Sam Cane after he missed out on the win over the Wallabies last week.

The All Blacks will be hoping for another comprehensive victory on Saturday and are 1.83 to win with -22 in the Line market.

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