West Indies offspinner, Rahkeem Cornwall, is determined to have an impactful performance on the upcoming tour of New Zealand, after coming up empty-handed on the previous tour of England.

The 27-year has claimed 13 wickets in three Test matches so far but failed to have a major impact in the team's 2-1 loss to England.  Cornwall was added to the bowling line-up for the third Test and had a spell of 27 balls for 85 runs but did not get a wicket. 

Having been included in the upcoming squad to New Zealand, Cornwall is dead set on making a much more telling impact with the ball this time around.

“I think I am prepared for the tour,” Cornwall told the Antigua Observer.

“I think that this one either makes me or breaks me. I think it’s about time I show what I am worth on the international scene.  I do have a ten-wicket haul in Test cricket, but I need to show a little bit more in terms of starting to get my performance together and make sure this New Zealand tour courts,” he added.

Cornwall's best Test match figures came against Afghanistan where he claimed an overall 10 for 121 and previously captured two wickets against India on his debut.

Caleb Clarke has made quite the impression at the start of his international career, forcing Australia captain Michael Hooper to use a rather unique method in an attempt to slow the wing down. 

After making his New Zealand debut off the bench in the Bledisloe Cup opener in Wellington last weekend, Clarke started in the second game between the trans-Tasman rivals in Auckland. 

Clarke capitalised on the opportunity too, earning comparisons to the great Jonah Lomu as his running game helped his side to a resounding 27-7 triumph at Eden Park. 

He beat 12 defenders during the course of the game – the second-highest number recorded by a player in a Test since the beginning of 2010. 

It was on one such burst that Wallabies back-row Hooper made contact with Clarke in a way that certainly caught his attention. 

"You know what, Michael Hooper grabbed my nuts just then," he told Sky Sport in an interview after the game. 

"They were really sore. I turned and tried to push his hand off." 

While watching a montage of his performance, Clarke – whose father, Eroni, played for New Zealand in the 1990s – also admitted that he tried to do the same to Hooper. 

"On this run, I tried to get him back," Clarke said while watching a replay. "Our physio said to get him back, so I tried to do it there." 

He certainly grabbed the attention of those watching on, with George Gregan praising a performance that belied the 21-year-old's lack of experience at the highest level. 

"We saw the makings of a wonderful player during Super Rugby with this man," the former Australia scrum-half said, per Fox Sports. 

"He comes from a pretty good lineage with his father, who we played against in Eroni Clarke, but today just reinforced how important power and precision are and he has the ball skills and went looking for work. 

"He was dynamic, it was a great example of a young man backing himself and his skill-set."

New Zealand head coach Ian Foster felt his side put down a marker for the rest of the series with Saturday's dismantling of Australia in Auckland.

The All Blacks triumphed 27-7, outscoring the Wallabies by four tries to one, in game two of the Bledisloe Cup.

Inspired by young wing Caleb Clarke, the hosts extended their unbeaten run at Eden Park to 44 matches in an impressive response to last week's 16-16 draw in Wellington.

Foster denied feeling relieved at the improved performance but accepts his side have now set a standard to which they must adhere.

"Relief is not something I feel at all," he said. "This is what Test matches are about. If we don't perform to the levels we want to, we know a lot of pressure comes on this team.

"In some ways, they're great weeks. There's nowhere to hide. There's no way anyone can get complacent. And if we thought we were in the house last week, we got a reminder we weren't.

"This week we got a reminder it wasn't good enough – from ourselves and everyone around us.

"It's a pleasing feeling. We've put a marker down, that's the level we need to start at and we've just got to climb because it's a tough series. This is a better Wallabies team than I've seen for a while. They want to stay in the fight, so we had to fight for 80 minutes."

Clarke, 21, earned comparisons with all-time great Jonah Lomu with some powerful running, with one burst forward taking him through five tackles before setting up Ardie Savea to score.

"He just wants the ball and wants to run hard, and it's quite a good thing for us to give him the ball and let him run hard," said Foster.

Indeed, Australia coach Dave Rennie summed up the difference between the two teams as "tackle execution".

"We missed too many tackles and we got put under the heat for it," he said.

"You can't give the All Blacks that much ball, they have too many athletes that can hurt you. But the boys are working hard and I'm pretty confident that in two weeks we will be a better side."

New Zealand preserved their Eden Park fortress after outplaying Australia 27-7 in game two of the Bledisloe Cup on Sunday.

The All Blacks and Wallabies could not be separated in last week's memorable stalemate in the Bledisloe opener in Wellington, however, there was a winner this time around in Auckland.

New Zealand ran in four tries to one as they extended their unbeaten record at Eden Park to 44 matches, while maintaining their undefeated run against the Wallabies at the stadium, which dates back to 1986.

It was a lively start by the Wallabies, who pressed New Zealand back early, but the efficient All Blacks struck first via Richie Mo'unga's penalty.

Beauden Barrett – back in the line-up after sitting out the series opener due to an Achilles tendon problem – almost found younger brother Jordie Barrett with a kick through and while it did not end in a try, the All Blacks did not have to wait long as Aaron Smith crossed over in the 22nd minute after Australia were unable to hold out from close range.

The Wallabies, though, responded as they carved open the All Blacks – a great line break and quick hands seeing Marika Koroibete cut inside two opponents to score the try before James O'Connor converted to reduce the deficit to 10-7 heading into the break.

New Zealand, who have lost just 10 of their 87 Tests at Eden Park, took control in the second half – young winger Caleb Clarke putting on a show to and taking centre stage to help the hosts make the perfect start within three minutes of the interval.

Clarke's pace and power proved too much as space opened up for Jordie Barrett to cross over for a 15-7 advantage and the All Blacks were in again three minutes later.

Another unstoppable run from Clarke, who smashed through Australia's defence, resulted in a New Zealand overload and Ardie Savea added the five-pointer, however Mo'unga missed back-to-back conversions.

The Wallabies – carrying a 16 per cent win rate at Eden Park into the contest, only Great Britain and Scotland have been worse of the teams to have played at least five games at the stadium – thought they had a try in the 50th minute but were held up by some desperate New Zealand defending, while Australia had a try ruled out for a double movement moments later.

New Zealand then went up the other end and extended their lead courtesy of captain Sam Cane, who made light work of Australia's backline following a sweeping move as Ian Foster celebrated his first victory as All Blacks head coach.

Injury, concerns over safety and a need for a clear head are the reasons behind Evin Lewis, Lendl Simmons and Andre Russell’s decisions not to accept invitations to join the West Indies’ tour of New Zealand starting next month.

The West Indies on Friday named a 14-man squad that is expected to play three T20 Internationals in New Zealand later this year that included Andre Fletcher who was making a return to the squad after a two-year absence as well as Shimron Hetmyer and Darren Bravo. However, it was noticeable that Russell, Lewis and Simmons were absent.

Chief selector Roger Harper explained during a press conference Friday morning that the three batsman gave different reasons why they opted out.

Simmons, he said, decided against travelling after discussions with his family. Lewis, he said, also discussed the issue with family but was also concerned about a injury that needed more time to heal.

Russell, who is currently playing for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League, said he needed time to clear his head after being in quarantine situations in the Caribbean Premier League and IPL competitions.

“Lendl Simmons and Andre Russell are two very experienced T20 players who performed very well on the last tour of Sri Lanka and their absence will surely be noted,” Harper said in a release from CWI.

However, the respective decisions to decline the invitations to tour will not factor in the selection process to future teams, CWI said.

 

A fortress for the All Blacks, and a luckless venue for the Wallabies, Australia face a daunting task at Eden Park on Sunday.

New Zealand are unbeaten in their past 43 matches at the Auckland venue, and the Wallabies' record there is abysmal.

The Wallabies and All Blacks played out a thrilling 16-16 draw in the Bledisloe Cup opener in Wellington.

But New Zealand have held the Bledisloe Cup since 2003 and if history is anything to go by, they will almost certainly head to Australia for the final two games of the series with a 1-0 lead.

We take a look at some of the numbers behind the All Blacks' record at Eden Park.

 

Complete dominance

Not only are the All Blacks carrying an unbeaten run at Eden Park into the clash, it is a ground at which they have been completely dominant.

New Zealand have lost just 10 of their 86 Tests at the ground, winning 73 and drawing three to go at a win rate of 85 per cent.

They have scored 2,449 points and conceded 1,113, those averages sitting at 28.5 and 12.9 respectively.

Beauden Barrett, who is returning from an Achilles injury on Sunday, has scored the most points (100) at Eden Park of any active player. The star has reached that figure in 12 games, but is well adrift of the 202 put together by the great Dan Carter in 14 Tests at the venue.

Barrett may, however, get to the record for most tries scored in Tests there. He has seven of his 36 career tries at the ground, with Stu Wilson (nine) having crossed the most times.

 

Wallabies' woes

Australia are winless against the All Blacks at the stadium since 1986, and their record at Eden Park makes for dismal reading.

The Wallabies have lost 27 of 32 Tests at the ground, going at a win rate of 16 per cent. Of teams to have played at least five games there – against all opponents – that rates as the third worst. Only Great Britain (one win in 11) and Scotland (0 in six) have been worse.

Wallabies assistant Geoff Parling insisted Eden Park was not scary and labelled it "just a rugby pitch" ahead of the clash, but it has proven to be anything but for Australia.

Australia have scored 418 points in their 32 games at the ground at an average of 13.1 per game, while conceding a whopping 809 – an average of 25.3.

But it is the recent record that has been even worse for the Wallabies, who have been on the end of six thrashings since they beat Wales 21-18 at Eden Park to secure third place at the 2011 Rugby World Cup. In those six meetings against the All Blacks, the Wallabies have been outscored 227-55.

That highlights just the enormity of the turnaround the Wallabies need to cause an upset in Auckland.

World champions South Africa have withdrawn from the 2020 Rugby Championship in Australia, prompting the return of a Tri-Nations tournament.

The South African Rugby Union (SARU) cited factors including travel restrictions, player welfare, safety concerns and the ongoing effect of the coronavirus pandemic for pulling out.

The Springboks' absence leaves Australia, New Zealand and Argentina to challenge for this year's title.

It is a blow ahead of the tournament, and means the Tri-Nations returns eight years after Argentina joined to extend the competition to a four-team event.

SARU chief executive Jurie Roux said: "SANZAAR [the competition organisers] and Rugby Australia have bent over backwards to make the tournament happen and it would have been unfair on them and their partners and state government to delay a decision any longer.

"This is a hugely disappointing outcome for supporters and commercial partners but the ongoing impacts of the pandemic in multiple dispensations mean we are unable to deliver a Springbok team without seriously compromising player welfare, apart from other logistical challenges."

With a Tri-Nations return, six international matches will be played in Australia across six consecutive weekends.

The Tri-Nations will see each nation play each other twice, with games to be held in Sydney, Brisbane and Newcastle – starting on October 31 between the Wallabies and All Blacks at ANZ Stadium.

The first two matches involving Australia and New Zealand double up as the final two Bledisloe Cup matches.

SANZAAR chief executive Andy Marinos said: “COVID is just a gift that keeps on giving! Naturally, it is extremely disappointing that the Springboks, due to the continued complexities of operating in and around this COVID environment, cannot fully compete in the previously planned six-round Rugby Championship.

“That said, this now presents us with a unique opportunity, in this our 25th year, to close off 2020 with a Tri-Nations competition."

Australia have made four changes to their team for Sunday's Bledisloe Cup clash with New Zealand at Eden Park.

The Wallabies and All Blacks played out a thrilling 16-16 draw in the series opener last week.

But Australia head coach Dave Rennie has still made four changes as Brandon Paenga-Amosa and Ned Hanigan start, and Liam Wright and Jordan Petaia move onto the bench.

After starting in Wellington, Folau Fainga'a and Pete Samu have dropped out of the team, while Rob Valetini and Noah Lolesio are not in the matchday squad

"We've got a group of 44 men who are all working hard and pushing for selection," Rennie said.

"We've had massive support from back home and as a team we definitely feel that and it's something we'll draw on on Sunday afternoon.

"We know that New Zealand will step it up another level this weekend, we're excited by the challenge ahead."

The All Blacks, meanwhile, have made five changes to their starting side, while prop Alex Hodgman is set to make his Test debut from the bench.

Sam Whitelock is out after suffering a concussion, while in a boost, Scott Barrett returns following a four-month injury absence.

All Blacks star Beauden Barrett also returns, having withdrawn from game one due to an Achilles tendon problem.

"Our preparation this week has been really good," All Blacks head coach Ian Foster said.

"It was our first Test together last weekend and while there were some aspects of our game that we were pretty excited about, especially around our set piece, we didn't get the performance that we wanted, so there has been plenty for us to work on. We need to be smarter with our ball and more focussed defensively.

"The Bledisloe series is back to square one and starts again this weekend, which is exciting. It's the last Test at home for us so there will also be massive excitement amongst our fans. There is everything to play for and we can't wait."

Holders of the Bledisloe Cup since 2003, the All Blacks are unbeaten in 43 consecutive games at Eden Park.

 

New Zealand: Beauden Barrett, Jordie Barrett, Anton Lienert-Brown, Jack Goodhue, Caleb Clarke, Richie Mo'unga, Aaron Smith; Joe Moody, Dane Coles, Ofa Tuungafasi, Patrick Tuipulotu, Tupou Vaa'I, Shannon Frizell, Sam Cane, Ardie Savea.
Replacements: Codie Taylor, Alex Hodgman, Nepo Laulala, Scott Barrett, Hoskins Sotutu, TJ Perenara, Rieko Ioane, Damian McKenzie.

Australia: Tom Banks, Filipo Daugunu, Hunter Paisami, Matt To'omua, Marika Koroibete, James O'Connor, Nic White; James Slipper, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Taniela Tupou, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Matt Philip, Ned Hanigan, Michael Hooper, Harry Wilson.
Replacements: Jordan Uelese, Scott Sio, Allan Alaalatoa, Rob Simmons, Liam Wright, Jake Gordon, Jordan Petaia, Reece Hodge.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) chief of selectors, Roger Harper, expects the team’s batting to once again be placed under the microscope when its tour of New Zealand begins next month.

The team’s batsmen faced plenty of criticism in a 2-1 loss to England, earlier this year, and a quick look at the recent batting statistics suggests they may well deserve it.  For the series, the team averaged close to 27.86 and it was one of the best batting performances in a series in recent years.

In fact, it is the fourth-best for the West Indies’ batsmen among all the series consisting of two or more matches since 2017.  Their highest batting average in a Test series consisting of at least two matches since 2017 is 34.66; which came in Zimbabwe in 2017.  Harper knows they will need to do much better to have a chance against the Blackcaps.

  “New Zealand are very competitive, in their own backyard especially.  They play very well as a team.  They plan well and they execute well. We have to be at the top of our game,” Harper told the Mason and Guest radio show.

“Again, a lot of questions will be asked of our batting and that’s the department that needs to step up for us in order for us to have a real chance of getting a positive result in the series,” he added.

The historic England tour ended on a bit of a sour note for the regional team, not only because of a 2-1 loss to the hosts but the manner of the defeat, which represented somewhat of a collapse by the Jason Holder-led unit. Things began brightly with the team putting in a strong all-around performance to secure a four-wicket win in the first Test.

“I’m looking for the team to build on its performance in England.  Winning away Test matches hasn’t been something we have done consistently.  We won one in England and we were positioned to really draw that series comfortably, if not win it, and I’m looking for us to build on that in New Zealand.”

In recent times, the West Indies have not had the best of fortune in New Zealand, where they have lost three of the last four T20 series, with one draw, while losing four of the last five-Test series again managing one draw.

South Africa have been given a 48-hour deadline to decide whether they will compete in the Rugby Championship.

The Springboks are due to start the defence of their title against Argentina at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on November 7.

Rugby South Africa (RSA) last week said "several hurdles needed to be cleared" before the organisation can confirm that the world champions will feature in the four-nation competition.

Concerns have been raised over a lack of playing time for South Africa players due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Tournament organisers SANZAAR on Wednesday stated that a decision must be made within two days.

A SANZAAR statement said: "The SANZAAR member unions have agreed to provide South Africa Rugby with an additional 48 hours to finalise its internal stakeholder discussions.

"This will now delay the scheduled departure of the Springboks from South Africa to Australia.

"SANZAAR will provide an update on the resolution of these discussions and a timetable for the Springboks participation in the Rugby Championship when available in the coming days."

New Zealand have withdrawn from next month's friendly against England at Wembley due to complications caused by the coronavirus.

The All Whites were due to face Gareth Southgate's side on November 12 but have pulled out because of issues over travel and player availability amid the pandemic.

New Zealand Football chief executive Andrew Pragnell said: "It is with deep regret that we have been forced to cancel our participation in the upcoming match against England at Wembley

"It is not an action taken lightly, this is a match we all wanted to play, however, as it stands of the last All Whites squad selected for the November 2019 tour, even excluding the New Zealand-based players, a significant number of the team would be subject to quarantine or restrictions on their return home. 

"This would heavily disrupt their domestic seasons and potentially jeopardise their professional careers.

"The shifting nature of travel restrictions and commercial flight availability under COVID means that we do not have certainty we could assemble a squad at Wembley on this day and defaulting on this fixture at the last minute is not an option. 

"Prior to COVID we had a full calendar of fixtures planned for the All Whites, and we have been proactive in seeking out matches for the team since the disruption, but unfortunately it just isn't possible to make the new games we have scheduled this year happen.

"We are now looking forward to the March 2021 international window as we begin our qualifying campaign for the FIFA World Cup 2022."

All Blacks head coach Ian Foster insisted Rieko Ioane's botched try was not to blame for New Zealand's wild stalemate against Australia in the Bledisloe Cup opener.

The All Blacks and Wallabies played out a dramatic 16-16 draw in Wellington, where a long-range kick from Australia's Reece Hodge sensationally struck the post in additional time on Sunday.

New Zealand had led 8-3 at the interval through Jordie Barrett's ninth-minute try before Aaron Smith extended the lead early in the second half, but Australia rallied as Marika Koroibete and debutant Filipo Daugunu crossed over.

The All Blacks should have led 13-3 heading into the break, however, Ioane's try on the stroke of half-time was chalked off after failing to ground the ball.

Australia eventually hit back as James O'Connor and Barrett traded penalties during the closing stages before an extra nine minutes were played without a winner, but Foster defended Ioane.

"It would've been useful," Foster told reporters post-game when asked about Ioane's disallowed try, following his first Test as All Blacks coach.

"He's feeling pretty frustrated with himself but that's one of those little lessons players have to go through and I thought he had a reasonably strong game besides that.

"That's why they call it a Test match - you've got to take those little moments and when you get a little bit sloppy in those moments, it can come back and bite you."

Asked if Ioane's error cost the All Blacks who denied Australia first win in New Zealand since 2001, Foster – Steve Hansen's replacement – replied: "Not at all.

"We had a chance to win the game in the last 10 minutes and we weren't good enough to execute on it," Foster said.

"You don't dwell on errors in Test matches - there were a lot of errors before that and there were a lot of errors after that.

"It certainly would've been nice but it's not the reason we drew.

"You make an error, you move on. He's confident young man but he's got to learn from that one little thing."

The All Blacks made 202 tackles against Australia – the second successive match they have been forced to make 200-plus tackles (206 against Wales in November 2019) after not even reaching that mark in any Test prior since 2010, per Opta.

Australia head coach Dave Rennie said the Wallabies are disappointed after coming within a whisker of snapping their New Zealand hoodoo as the Bledisloe Cup opener ended in a dramatic 16-16 draw.

Reece Hodge had the chance to secure Australia's first win in New Zealand in 19 years and first in Wellington since 2000, but the replacement back's monster kick from inside his own half hit the post in additional time on Sunday.

The Wallabies ushered in a new era under Rennie – overseeing his first match in charge since replacing Michael Cheika, just like All Blacks counterpart Ian Foster – rallying through second-half tries from Marika Koroibete and debutant Filipo Daugunu, having trailed 13-3 to Jordie Barrett and Rieko Ioane five-pointers.

And Hodge almost snatched an incredible victory in the 83rd minute after the full-time siren sounded, however, his long-range kick cannoned off the woodwork in wet conditions at Sky Stadium, where James O'Connor eventually kicked the ball out of touch following nine thrilling extra minutes.

"We're disappointed," Rennie told reporters in his post-match news conference. "We're certainly not celebrating in the changerooms.

"We had our chances. I thought we played with a lot of courage."

"We let ourselves down," added Rennie, addressing the breakdown, though the Wallabies won nine turnovers – only the second time in the last decade they have won more in a Test against the All Blacks.

"We found a lot of space in behind them, we had a lot of ball but the quality of our cleanout just wasn't good enough and it's area we need to be better next week. We gave away 14 penalties and a big chunk of those were post-tackle."

"I'm really proud. We were under the pump early," Rennie said. "I thought we defended well for big chunks of the game, we were able to apply pressure through our kick game and scored a couple of good tries at important times.

"We had our chance right at the death, one off the post and then setting up of a drop goal and we ended up going wider. They put you through it!

"The quality of our clean out wasn't good enough and they were able to stifle a lot of ball. We knew the collision area was going to be important and they won that battle."

Both Australia and hosts New Zealand were playing for the first time in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic, with a strong crowd in attendance to watch the first of four Bledisloe Cup fixtures.

Wallabies captain Michael Hooper made his 100th Test appearance – becoming just the 12th different player to reach the century mark for Australia – and his 47th as skipper.

Hooper led from the front as the Wallabies impressed against their trans-Tasman rivals, after trailing 8-3 at half-time, with Koroibete and Daugunu crossing over, with the latter becoming just the fourth Australia player since the beginning of this century to score a try when their career Test debut has been against the All Blacks, per Opta.

O'Connor and Barrett traded penalties at the death, after Australia had led with 90 seconds remaining, setting up a grandstand finish.

"It was a good start to our year. We haven’t been together for almost a year," said Hooper.

"We've got a new group here and a few debutants tonight. I’m very proud of our team, they fought all the way through. Man, it was close … a kick off the post … but we go again next weekend and hopefully we’re up to the challenge."

Australia's Reece Hodge hit the post with a long-range penalty in extra time as the Wallabies and New Zealand played out a breathtaking 16-16 draw in game one of the Bledisloe Cup.

Hodge had the chance to secure Australia's first win over the All Blacks in Wellington since 2000 as the full-time siren sounded but the replacement back's 54-metre kick agonisingly struck the post on Sunday.

The All Blacks and Wallabies continued to go head-to-head for nine additional see-sawing minutes before the visitors kicked the ball out for a draw as New Zealand came close to claiming victory in a stunning finish in wet conditions.

It was a battle of the debutant coaches as New Zealand head coach Ian Foster and Australia counterpart Dave Rennie oversaw their first Tests in charge since replacing Steve Hansen and Michael Cheika respectively.

The All Blacks and Wallabies were both playing for the first time in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic, and a crowd was in attendance at Sky Stadium for the first of four Bledisloe Cup showdowns.

It was a lively start as the All Blacks crossed over first via Jordie Barrett – the younger brother of Beauden who missed the clash with an Achilles tendon problem – after the Wallabies were carved open but the former was unable to convert the try nine minutes in.

Led by centurion captain Michael Hooper – making his 100th career Test appearance – the Wallabies looked threatening in attack and continued to cause the All Blacks problems, but New Zealand managed to extend their lead to 8-0 on the boot of Barrett, who converted his first ever penalty at international level.

Having failed to capitalise on their possession and good field position, the Wallabies finally got on the board just past the half-hour mark when James O'Connor nailed his penalty.

The All Blacks thought they had taken a 13-3 lead into half-time after Rieko Ioane crossed over, but replays showed he failed to ground the ball following a swift breakaway – Australia handed a reprieve.

Denied a try on the stroke of half-time, New Zealand were not to be denied a second time as Aaron Smith shook off two defenders to put the All Blacks 13-3 ahead just four minutes into the second half, after Australia's O'Connor saw his penalty sail wide of the post minutes earlier.

Australia refused to surrender as they crossed over at speed, Marika Koroibete unstoppable as he powered down the left flank and grounded the ball to cut the deficit to 13-8 before debutant Filipo Daugunu levelled proceedings as the crowd went silent in the 63rd minute.

Daugunu – played in by an incredible through-the-legs from Nick White – became just the fourth Wallabies player since the beginning of this century to score a try when their career Test debut has been against the All Blacks, per Opta.

O'Connor and Barrett traded penalties down the stretch to level the match and set up a grandstand finish, which saw Hodge almost snatch victory for Australia inside his own half.

All Blacks star Beauden Barrett has withdrawn from Sunday's Bledisloe Cup opener against the Wallabies due to an Achilles tendon problem.

A tight Achilles tendon means full-back Barrett will sit out game one of the series in Wellington, where he will be replaced by New Zealand team-mate Damian McKenzie.

Barrett had been named in the starting line-up alongside younger brother Jordie to face trans-Tasman rivals Australia.

"Beaudy's Achilles flared up a little bit at training yesterday [Friday] afternoon," All Blacks head coach Ian Foster said on Saturday, on the eve of his first match in charge.

"It settled down overnight, not too bad and he's kicking out there now, but we made a decision, first Test, to pull him out early.

"It certainly looks like that [a one-game injury]. He's kicking now and running around but we just felt the way it tightened up and impacted on him yesterday, we didn't want to take that chance tomorrow [Sunday]."

All Blacks captain Sam Cane added: "He probably could have played at a push but there's a fair bit of rugby ahead.

"It's disappointing for Beaudie obviously ... but he knows it's the smart decision."

McKenzie replaces Barrett, despite not being named in New Zealand's original matchday 23.

"He's a quality 15 and ready to go, and it means less disruption to the rest of the squad. All the other positions stay the same," Foster said.

Page 1 of 23
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.