Four new faces for All Blacks in Dunedin, France drop skipper

There are four new caps and Sonny Bill Williams returns in an All Blacks shake up for the third Test against France in Dunedin in Saturday.

With the series already wrapped up, coach Steve Hansen has made 11 changes to the match-day 23 to both cover injuries and to give four new players a taste of Test rugby.

Flanker Shannon Frizell and centre Jack Goodhue will make their debuts in the run-on side with Jackson Hemopo and Richie Mo'unga to come off the bench.

From the side which won the second Test in Wellington 26-13 last weekend, Beauden Barrett, Liam Squire and Vaea Fifita were ruled out because of injury.

The All Blacks won the first Test 52-11 and Hansen said with the series won he could now focus on building depth as he swapped 10 players and made one positional change.

"We think this is the right time to do that," he said when naming the side on Thursday with the promise of a fast-flowing game unaffected by the weather in the roofed Dunedin stadium.

"It's an exciting mix of players with big-match experience, newer All Blacks who are continuing to grow their game, and four players who have been named in the Test 23 for the first time."

There are two changes in the starting forward pack, with Ardie Savea getting his fourth start in the seven jersey and Frizell is at six.

Like replacement prop Karl Tu'inukuafe, the Tongan born Frizell was a late sighting on the All Blacks radar having only started in three of 10 games in his maiden Super Rugby year with the Otago Highlanders.

In the backs, Damian McKenzie will start at fly-half outside Aaron Smith with Sonny Bill Williams and Jack Goodhue forming a new midfield combination.

Williams was initially ruled out of the series after undergoing knee surgery but has been brought back into the side following a quicker than expected recovery.

Meanwhile, Captain Mathieu Bastareaud has been axed by France as they bid to end their contentious tour of New Zealand on a winning note.

Coach Jacques Brunel has overhauled his midfield and handed the captaincy to halfback Morgan Parra for Saturday's third and final Test in Dunedin.

It leaves no room for bullocking outside centre Bastareaud, who has been solid but unspectacular in the losses in Auckland and Wellington.

His No.13 jersey will be worn by Remi Lamerat, whose Clermont Auvergne clubmate Wesley Fofana starts at inside centre in place of Geoffrey Doumayrou.

Parra, also from Clermont, will lead his country for the first time in his 69th Test.

Brunel has made no other changes, hoping the team who were so combative in the 26-13 second Test loss in Wellington can end France's nine-year drought against New Zealand.

Benjamin Fall remains at fullback after a World Rugby-appointed judicial committee cancelled the red card he was shown early at Westpac Stadium which spoiled the contest.

On the bench, Lyon lock Felix Lambey is poised to make a Test debut.

The other change is Adrien Pelissie's return to the backup hooker berth he held in the 52-11 first Test loss in Auckland.

New Zealand takes on France on Saturday June 23 in Dunedin, kicking off at 7:35pm local, 5:35pm AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS.


New Zealand to take on France

1. Joe Moody

2. Codie Taylor

3. Owen Franks

4. Sam Whitelock

5. Scott Barrett

6. Shannon Frizell

7. Ardie Savea

8. Luke Whitelock

9. Aaron Smith

10. Damian McKenzie

11. Rieko Ioane

12. Sonny Bill Williams

13. Jack Goodhue

14. Waisake Naholo

15. Ben Smith


16. Liam Coltman

17. Karl Tuinukuafe

18. Ofa Tuungafasi

19. Jackson Hemopo

20. Matt Todd

21. TJ Perenara

22. Richie Mounga

23. Jordie Barrett

France to face New Zealand

1. Dany Priso

2. Camille Chat

3. Uini Atonio

4. Bernard Le Roux

5. Yoann Maestri

6. Mathieu Babillot

7. Kelian Galletier

8. Kevin Gourdon

9. Morgan Parra

10. Anthony Belleau

11. Gael Fickou

12. Wesley Fofana

13. Remi Lamarat

14. Teddy Thomas

15. Benjamin Fall


16. Adrien Pelissie

17. Cyril Baille

18. Cedate Gomes Sa

19. Felix Lambey

20. Alexandre Lapandry

21. Baptiste Serin

22. Jules Plisson

23. Maxime Medard