Wallabies

Samu Kerevi in awe of veteran All Black

Williams made a devastating contribution to New Zealand's 36-0 trouncing of Australia's Bledisloe Cup hopes at Eden Park on Saturday, scoring one try after missing the last two tests.

Kerevi was one of the defenders he minced on his charge for the try line. All Blacks coach Steve Hansen will have to pause for thought before he starts crossing out names on New Zealand's World Cup squad list.

Bledisloe blitz answered World Cup questions

New Zealand bounced back from a record defeat in game one at Perth with a resounding 36-0 victory over the Wallabies in Auckland on Saturday night.

A number of players shone for the All Blacks at Eden Park and Hansen believed that could be viewed in two ways.

"A few people really put their hand up last night and where we had question marks, we no longer have question marks," he said on Sunday.

"In other ways, it makes it a bit tougher, too.

Wallabies urged not to change

Slack was the last captain to lead the Wallabies to victory over the All Blacks at Eden Park in 1986 with the win clinching the Bledisloe Cup.

Slack says he wants the same players who trounced New Zealand 47-26 in Perth last weekend rewarded with selection for game two.

Four years ago the Wallabies were in the same scenario after winning their opening Test in Sydney but coach Michael Cheika changed most of his backline.

two members of the forward pack with Australia then losing 41-13.

Tupou signs contract extension

The Tonga-born prop agreed a deal to remain with the Queensland Super Rugby franchise and continue to be available for the Wallabies until after the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.

Tupou has won 13 caps for Australia since making his debut against Scotland in 2017, having made a big impact with the Reds after joining them straight from high school five years ago.

The 23-year-old said: "I'm very excited to sign for the next few years. Queensland and Australia offered me the first opportunity out of school and I feel I have more to do to repay that faith.

Scott Barrett red carded as All Blacks get thrashed by Wallabies in Perth

Forget the fact, for a moment, that the 47-26 thrashing at Optus Stadium on Saturday night means the All Blacks must win in Auckland next week to retain the Bledisloe Cup.

Lock Barrett, who was sent off for ramming his shoulder into the neck of Wallabies captain Michael Hooper in the 40th minute, has ensured the All Blacks will be under the microscope ahead of, and during, the global tournament in Japan.

It's hard enough to defend the Webb Ellis Cup without distractions, and Barrett's moment of madness will do his countrymen no favours ahead of the event in the Far East.

Wallabies hungrier than ever to take Cup

Veterans Nic White, Christian Lealiifano and James O'Connor will suit up against the All Blacks in Perth tonight after long absences, and Hooper says it's stoked the fire to break the 17-year trophy drought.

Inspirational five-eighth Lealiifano hasn't played in a trans-Tasman duel since 2013, and has subsequently battled leukaemia.

Hooper said the Brumbies playmaker would bring a cool head to the cauldron of the clash.

James O'Connor to start at centre for Wallabies against All Blacks

Australia do not name their team until Thursday but it is understood coach Michael Cheika is set to make a number of changes for the match at Perth on Saturday.

O'Connor's selection at No 13 in place of Tevita Kuridrani is set to be the big talking point, with the Brumbies centre understood to have been left out of the match day 23 altogether.

It caps a remarkable comeback for O'Connor, who played his first game since 2013 for the Wallabies two weeks ago in Brisbane, coming off the bench.

All Blacks expect Pocock to play against them this weekend

Pocock has not played a game since March after injuring his calf during the Super Rugby season, and after touring with the Wallabies all winter but working on his own, the world-class flanker has been back training with the main squad this week in Perth.

All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster expects him to play.

"You always prepare for that sort of scenario. But we have played against those two (Pocock and Michael Hooper) when they play together, a number of times."

Mid-season "catch-ups" helping build Test bonds: Sio

But the Wallabies’ pack must apply consistency back up their performance against the All Blacks in Perth next week, or risk losing the positive impact on their reputation as scrummagers.

After sitting out the Johannesburg Test with injury, Sio’s return in Brisbane to a front row also containing Folau Faingaa and Sekope Kepu helped the Wallabies scrum turn in a dominant show over the Pumas.

Encouragingly for coach Michael Cheika, the dominance continued when the bench front rowers were rolled out in the second half; James Slipper, Taniela Tupou and Tolu Latu.

Wallabies changes likely but Pocock return date still a mystery

Despite not having played for six months with a calf injury, Pocock has been travelling with the Wallabies since they went into camp in June.

There have been no fixed dates about when - or if - the champion flanker will return during the Rugby Championship, but unlike other weeks in the competition, Pocock was named in the Wallabies’ squad ahead of the Bledisloe Cup clashes in Perth and Auckland.

Reports that Pocock ran at full speed two weeks ago led to speculation the backrower could play club rugby, and then make a return for the Wallabies against the All Blacks.