Perenara back on bench for second All Blacks clash with Wallabies

By Te Ao - Māori News

After a somewhat closer test than fans were expecting in last week's 33-25 win over the Wallabies, the All Blacks team has been named for the second Bledisloe Cup clash with the Wallabies - with TJ Perenara returning for an injured Brad Webber on the All Blacks bench.

It will be the first test on home soil for the 29-year-old after he missed the Hurricanes' Super Rugby season this year for a quick stint in Japanese rugby competition.

The Ngāti Rangitihi descendant, who will play his 70th test this Saturday, has also been involved in the recent Hurricanes-racism saga.

Perenara took to social media recently, when Hurricanes board member Troy Bowker accused Māori animation entrepreneur Sir Ian Taylor of "sucking up to the left Māori​ loving agenda" in a LinkedIn post in response to National leader Judith Collins' backing for a referendum on the use of the name Aotearoa for New Zealand.

Who's in? Who's out?

The forward pack has been kept from last week, with Dane Coles replaced on the reserves by Samisoni Taukei'aho.

However, Rieko Ioane will move to centre to replace a knee-knocked Anton Lienert-Brown. Sevu Reece and a returning Will Jordan will be placed on the wings, with Damian McKenzie in at fullback.

Samuel Whitelock remains the All Blacks captain for the Eden Park clash, and Scott, Beauden and Jordie Barrett are still on the bench.

"We’re all excited to be returning to Eden Park for the second Bledisloe Cup test," coach Ian Foster said. "It’s been a very ‘forward-looking’ week. We were delighted with the result last weekend and obviously had some things that we had to work on this week so that has kept us focused.

“We know that Australia will be disappointed with the result and will lift. It’s a do-or-die game for them.

“But the Bledisloe Cup means a lot to us. It’s a historic trophy and it’s easy for people to take it for granted based on results in recent years, but throughout history, it has been a hard Cup to win, so it’s hugely important."