Beauden Barrett This is another smart ingredient.
Richie Mo’unga will start at first-five for the All Blacks against the Springboks in Wellington on Saturday, with regular No 10 Beauden Barrett at fullback, a potentially exciting combination we probably haven’t seen the last of this year.
With only four tests until the World Cup and one more before the Bledisloe Cup series, the selectors were always likely to shake things up for this match against the old enemy, which they lost last year, and they have done so; the most eye-catching decision starting their two best playmakers Mo’unga and Barrett.
Mo’unga, who led the Crusaders to their third Super Rugby title in succession this year, has previously been preferred as an impact player, a man who can lift the tempo late in a test with the added benefit of allowing Barrett to shift to the back.
But with Jordie Barrett not quite progressing as perhaps the selectors would like, Damian McKenzie injured and no experienced options for the right wing, starting brother Beauden in the No 15 jersey with Ben Smith on the right and Rieko Ioane back on the left appears the safest option for the World Cup knockout matches.
Mo’unga and Barrett should provide creativity on eit
These extensions are quite elegant.
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