2021 Rugby Championship: New Zealand head to Australia in dead rubber fixture

Friday, September 3rd, 2021 17:56 |
New Zealand’s All Blacks who won by 62 points against Namibia on Sunday. Their first-half performance against enraged head coach Steve Hansen. Photo/PD/AFP

New Zealand the All Blacks have already secured and retained the Bledisloe Cup last month, courtesy of a runaway 57-22 win over the Wallabies.

The Sunday's test, however, both team's rivalry will come into sharp focus in terms of the Rugby Championship.

Australia will be desperate to avoid a clean sweep in the Bledisloe Cup by avoiding defeat to New Zealand here.

New Zealand have had some issues with depth of experience in the squad, but a week to adjust to the time difference in Perth should allay any nerves associated with the recent Covid-19 related interruptions.

The All Blacks retained the Bledisloe Cup last time out with a record 57-22 score over the Wallabies in Auckland and those high spirits should not have dwindled too much in the delay, with that last match coming over two weeks ago.

Ian Foster's All Blacks will be missing a trio of first-choice players in the shape of lock Sam Whitelock, fly-half Richie Mo'unga and scrum-half Aaron Smith - each staying home for the births of their children - but McDermott is expecting a tough encounter in Perth.

Beauden Barrett is confirmed to replace expectant father Mo'unga at fly-half and is joined by his brother Jordie at full-back, who has held off the challenge of Damian McKenzie.

On paper an Australian victory is highly unlikely at this moment in time with the All Blacks together in adversity and the Wallabies a little disjointed.

The Bledisloe Cup fixture against Australia vs New Zealand will take place on Sunday, September 5, 2021 and will be staged at the Optus Stadium in Perth.

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