Bernard Foley is relishing "one more crack" at international rugby after the experienced fly-half was picked by Australia to face New Zealand in Thursday's Bledisloe Cup clash.

After three years out of the picture, since moving to play in Japan after the Rugby World Cup, Foley has been handed the chance to be the Wallabies' playmaker once more.

The 71-cap Foley's inclusion is one of eight changes made to the starting line-up by coach Dave Rennie for the tussle with the All Blacks in Melbourne.

Waratahs captain Jake Gordon comes in at scrum-half to partner 33-year-old Foley, with the home side looking to atone for a 24-8 loss to South Africa last time out, in Sydney.

Australia have two wins from four games so far in the Rugby Championship and complete their campaign with home and away battles against New Zealand, with the Bledisloe Cup on the line.

Wing Marika Koroibete will get his 50th cap, yet all eyes will be on Foley in the first instance.

"It's great to have Bernard's experience, and he brings plenty of voice and passion for the gold jersey," Rennie said.

Foley replaces Noah Lolesio who suffered concussion in the loss to the Springboks.

"It means so much," Foley said. "Not being a part of it for a couple of years, being a spectator overseas, you get to reflect on how much the jersey means to you and how you really appreciate the time and opportunity.

"I'm really excited. One thing when you go away is you miss the build-up, the anticipation of these big games, so I've enjoyed this week."

For his international return to come against New Zealand makes it all the more special.

"I think you definitely look at the games and you have some great battles," Foley said. "You always wish you can get one more crack, so for me to be back here is just making the most of it."

New Zealand coach Ian Foster has switched around his scrum, with Hoskins Sotutu coming in at number eight and Brodie Retallick handed a chance in the second row, as Scott Barrett moves to blindside blanker

Foster said of the high-stakes tussles with Australia: "We are incredibly driven to keep hold of this trophy which means so much to both countries.

"And when you factor in how tight this year's Rugby Championship is, all signs point towards another great Test match here in Melbourne."

Australia::Andrew Kellaway, Tom Wright, Len Ikitau, Lalakai Foketi, Marika Koroibete, Bernard Foley, Jake Gordon; James Slipper (captain), David Porecki, Allan Alaalatoa, Jed Holloway, Matt Philip, Rob Leota, Pete Samu, Rob Valetini.

Replacements Folau Fainga'a, Scott Sio, Pone Fa'amausili, Darcy Swain, Fraser McReight, Nic White, Reece Hodge, Jordan Petaia.

New Zealand: Jordie Barrett, Will Jordan, Rieko Ioane, David Havili, Caleb Clarke, Richie Mo'unga, Aaron Smith; Ethan de Groot, Samisoni Taukei'aho, Tyrel Lomax, Brodie Retallick, Samuel Whitelock, Scott Barrett, Sam Cane (captain), Hoskins Sotutu.

Replacements: Dane Coles, George Bower, Fletcher Newell, Akira Ioane, Dalton Papali'i, Finlay Christie, Beauden Barrett, Quinn Tupaea.

James Slipper wants Australia to "hurt" after they were consigned to a 24-8 Rugby Championship defeat by South Africa.

The Springboks overpowered the Wallabies at Allianz Stadium on Saturday, outscoring them by four tries to one.

Debutant Canan Moodie, Damian de Allende, Makazole Mapimpi and Franco Mostert crossed as the world champions joined Australia and Argentina on nine points, one behind leaders New Zealand.

Slipper, captain in the absence of Michael Hooper, says Dave Rennie's side should be feeling the pain after they were well beaten in Sydney.

He said: "I want the boys to hurt. Yes, South Africa were good, but I felt like we didn't play much rugby at all.

"We wanted to review last week and be a better rugby team. At no stage should we think we're the finished product.

"Individually we need to look at ourselves. I'm confident we're tracking in the right direction. We just need a bit more polish. We need to execute under pressure."

Australia's next assignment is a Bledisloe Cup opener against the All Blacks on September 15 and Slipper expects them to come back stronger after their hopes of winning the competition took a blow.

"It's tough when you're walking off the field after a loss, but we've got a lot of confidence in the group that we have," he said.

"We're after consistency and that's the big driver for us and when we start seeing that I feel that we'll see success coming our way."

Victory for the Springboks was their first in Australia for nine years and left the battle for the title wide open.

Ian Foster declared New Zealand were back in contention for the Rugby Championship title after his team atoned for last week's shock defeat to Argentina by crushing the Pumas 53-3 in Hamilton.

Having lost three consecutive home Tests for the first time in their history, the All Blacks were under huge pressure to secure a second win of the campaign on Saturday, and they responded in emphatic fashion.

New Zealand restricted their opponents to no tries for the first time this year before blitzing the Pumas in the second half, with Jordie Barrett, Ardie Savea, Brodie Retallick and Beauden Barrett going over after the break to clinch a morale-boosting win.

Foster's future has been the subject of considerable speculation recently, but the All Blacks coach is simply concerned with the result's impact on the championship standings.

Asked whether he felt a weight had been lifted from his shoulders, Foster said: "No. It's the life of a coach.

"All we've done is put ourselves back into contention. From a championship [perspective] we've still got plenty to do, so we'll roll our sleeves up and get stuck into our work.

"It's significant in the Rugby Championship, first and foremost. This championship is important for us, and we put ourselves in a bit of a hole last week.

"We had to respond and to walk away with a bonus point and a big points differential in a tight competition at least keeps us in the race.

"I'm just proud of the way we've worked hard to get our game where we want it to be. It hasn't happened at the speed we'd like it to, but we saw signs of that tonight. 

"There is no doubt the team has felt a whole lot of different pressure. I was just proud of the way the guys have hung in there and not got tight under the pressure and played with a bit of ambition."

The All Blacks' dominant success represents just their third Test win of 2022, and prevented Argentina from sealing their first back-to-back victories over their hosts.

Foster was delighted with how his team responded to the criticism coming their way, adding: "It was a big week for us. We had to respond, and I thought we did it in a really ruthless manner.

"There were a lot of questions about putting the same group out again, but I really believe in the direction we're going and am delighted with the response against a pretty enthusiastic Argentina team."

Australia missed the chance to move top of the Rugby Championship standings as they were downed 24-8 by South Africa in Sydney.

The Wallabies ran out 25-17 winners against the same opponents last week, having been in control until a late flurry of Springboks tries.

Yet it was South Africa who made a blistering start this time out, and unlike Australia in Adelaide, they never looked likely to surrender control as they claimed a second win of the campaign.

Damian de Allende dived in under the posts inside 10 minutes, presenting Damian Willemse with a simple conversion.

Matt Philip's yellow card compounded Australia's frustration, though having kept South Africa from capitalising on their numerical advantage, the hosts clawed back three points through Noah Lolesio's penalty.

Australia's hard work was undone before half-time, however – debutant Canan Moodie beating Marika Koroibete to Jaden Hendrikse's hanging kick in midfield and charging over for a maiden Test try.

A slick team move, capped off by Franco Mostert, extended South Africa's lead after the restart, and despite Australia mounting some pressure, the 'Boks kept their hosts at arm's length.

Willie le Roux's drop-goal attempt almost nudged the reigning world champions further ahead, but South Africa had their bonus point when Makazole Mapimpi lunged across in the corner.

Mapimpi's try resulted in a mass fracas, with the try scorer subsequently sin-binned for lashing out at Koroibete.

Francois Steyn added the extras with an excellent long-range conversion, and though Australia got a consolation through Pete Samu and Le Roux saw yellow, South Africa had little trouble in seeing out a big win.

Moodie makes his mark

Handed a debut by coach Jacques Nienaber on the right wing, Moodie made the most of his opportunity with an excellent score at the end of the first half.

The athleticism shown by the 19-year-old was outstanding, with Moodie outjumping Koroibete before sprinting off to the line.

Mapimpi loses his cool

South Africa's fourth try came at the culmination of another excellent passing move, with Le Roux's movement particularly outstanding in the build-up.

Mapimpi held off Koroibete's tackle to finish, but could not help pushing out at his opposite number. Had there been more time left to play, his lapse might have allowed Australia back into the contest.

New Zealand delivered a blistering response to last week's shock reverse against Argentina as they ran rampant with a 53-3 win in the Rugby Championship.

A much-improved All Blacks side delivered an emphatic performance to keep their hopes of a competition triumph alive as they turned the screw on their rivals, easing the pressure on coach Ian Foster.

For the Pumas, who clawed their way to a maiden away victory against New Zealand last time out in Christchurch, there was no last-gasp rearguard effort to seal another victory, with a sound drubbing on the scoreboard.

But coach Michael Cheika, who will also guide Lebanon in this year's Rugby League World Cup, is still trying to establish them as a genuine threat to the sport's heavyweights ahead of France 2023.

They looked unlikely to claim successive scalps from the first whistle in Hamilton, however, after their hosts raced out to an early lead, steered by fly-half Richie Mo'unga.

An early penalty moments after Argentina knocked on the kick-off settled initial All Blacks nerves, before Ethan de Groot and Caleb Clarke muscled over for sharp tries to stretch the lead inside the first 20 minutes.

Emiliano Boffelli managed to slot over a penalty of his own with half-time approaching, but when Tomas Lavanini was sent to the sin bin on his own try-line, Rieko Ioane made them pay with another try before the break.

An improved Pumas performance after the interval suggested there could have been the chance of another remarkable comeback, but an inability to sustain pressure meant what resistance they had left quickly faded,

That opened the floodgates for a morale-boosting second half showcase from the hosts, with further tries for Jordie Barrett, Ardie Savea, Brodie Retallick and Beauden Barrett racking up a bonus point blitz on the visitors.

With that haul, it means that New Zealand, for all their troubles, sit top of the table, with Australia and South Africa still to play this round – and the All Blacks will fancy their prospects with this result when they make the trip to Melbourne.

Ian Foster has backed his New Zealand team to banish their home blues in Saturday's Rugby Championship tussle with Argentina at Waikato Stadium.

The All Blacks have lost their last three Tests at home for the first time in their history, with two defeats to Ireland followed by last week's shock 25-18 loss to Argentina in Christchurch.

They had only lost three times across their prior 73 games on home soil (W67, D3, L3), so this is a crisis and head coach Foster must find a solution.

He has picked an unchanged XV, saying his team have trained well this week and trusting them to deliver a display "everyone can be proud of".

"But we've been pretty ruthless and hard on ourselves behind the scenes," Foster said. "We are hurting with where the team's at."

His belief is that the players who suffered so badly last week should play again, with the purpose of them regaining confidence. That could always backfire.

While New Zealand and Argentina go head to head in Hamilton, Australia and South Africa clash at Sydney's new Allianz Stadium.

Here, Stats Perform previews the weekend clashes in round four of the championship using Opta data.




Foster would surely struggle to ride out the criticism if his team are beaten again by the Pumas, who will be aiming for back-to-back wins in men's Tests against New Zealand for the first time.

New Zealand have lost four of their six Tests in 2022 (W2) and only twice in their history have they lost more in a calendar year (L6 – 1949 and L5 – 1998).

The All Blacks have gained more metres (1,321) and made more offloads (27) than any other team in the Rugby Championship this year, but they have not made the most of those statistical wins.

Argentina are seeking a third consecutive win in the tournament, having never achieved such a run before, and they have the best success rate on lineout throws of any team (90 per cent – 37/41); however, no team have stolen more opposition lineouts in the competition this year than New Zealand (6).


New Zealand number eight Ardie Savea has made more carries (36) and offloads (6) than any other player in the tournament, while his 24 tackles ranks second among All Blacks (Sam Cane – 30).

Argentina are the kings of the tackle, making 145 tackles per game so far – the most by any team. Marcos Kremer (42), Tomas Lavanini (39), Julian Montoya (38) and Pablo Matera (33) have made more tackles than any other players across all the four competing teams.



The 25-18 win last week in Adelaide means Australia have won each of their last three men's Tests against South Africa after winning just one in six previously (D2, L3). The last time the Wallabies enjoyed a longer winning run against the Springboks was a five-match span from September 2010 to September 2012.

They remain without captain Michael Hooper, who has taken time out to deal with personal matters, but have two wins from three games so far in this competition. They had won just one of five games prior to the Rugby Championship getting under way.

Results in Sydney have not been kind to Australia of late, with just one win coming in their last 10 such games (D1, L8), but they have won their last seven matches on the bounce against South Africa in the city.

World champions South Africa have lost their last two Tests, as many as in their eight games prior (W6, L2). Curiously, the Springboks have led at half-time on the day just twice across that 10-game span.

South Africa have the best scrum success rate (19/22) and have won more scrum penalties (7) than any other team in the championship.


South Africa will be without key centre Lukhanyo Am who has made more line breaks – six – than any other player in this year's Rugby Championship. Jesse Kriel is set to take over from Am in midfield.

In wing Makazole Mapimpi, the Boks at least have the player next on that list with five line breaks. Eight changes to the Boks starting line-up have come about due to injuries and form, with the visitors looking to step up a level after last week's disappointment.

Australia have named an unchanged XV, and Fraser McReight's two tries in Adelaide make him a player to watch. Len Ikitau has made 11 tackle breaks in the campaign so far, the joint-most of any player in the campaign (also Rieko Ioane – 11 for New Zealand).

Michael Hooper does not figure in Australia's plans for the rest of the Rugby Championship, coach Dave Rennie said on Thursday.

Captain Hooper pulled out of the Wallabies team for the series opener against Argentina at the start of August, citing personal reasons, and travelled home from South America.

He said he was unable "to fulfil my responsibilities at the moment in my current mindset", and Australia will not rush Hooper back.

Rennie said: "I've had plenty of contact with Hoops. I'm not going to comment on where he's at and what that looks like. We're not looking to include him in the rest of the Rugby Championship.

"We'll make decisions beyond that, but certainly not looking to rush him in. But he's certainly on the improve."

In Hooper's continuing absence, Australia's starting XV will be unchanged for Saturday's tussle with South Africa at Sydney's new Allianz Stadium, following a 25-17 win over the Springboks last weekend in Adelaide. Jake Gordon, the Waratahs captain, joins the replacements.

Australia and Argentina lead the way in the championship with two wins and one loss each. The Wallabies will wrap up their campaign with home and away games against the All Blacks.

Rennie said: "While rapt with last week's effort, we're well aware of the challenge a wounded Springbok poses and the intensity we will require again on Saturday night."

South Africa named their team on Tuesday, making eight changes, including bringing in Canan Moodie for a debut on the wing.

Wallabies team: Reece Hodge, Tom Wright, Len Ikitau, Hunter Palsami, Marika Koroibete, Noah Lolesio, Nic White; James Slipper (captain), Folau Fainga'a, Allan Alaalatoa, Rory Arnold, Matt Philip, Jed Holloway, Fraser McReight, Rob Valetini.

Replacements: David Porecki, Scott Sio, Taniela Tupou, Darcy Swain, Rob Leota, Pete Samu, Jake Gordon, Andrew Kellaway.

South Africa team: Willie le Roux, Canan Moodie, Jesse Kriel, Damian de Allende, Makazole Mapimpi, Damian Willemse, Jaden Hendrikse; Steven Kitshoff, Malcolm Marx, Frans Malherbe, Eben Etzebeth, Lood de Jager, Siya Kolisi (captain), Franco Mostert, Jasper Wiese.

Replacements: Deon Fourie, Ox Nche, Trevor Nyakane, Kwagga Smith, Duane Vermeulen, Cobus Reinach, Frans Steyn, Warrick Gelant.

Beauden Barrett is fit to return for New Zealand when they go in search of revenge against Argentina on Saturday.

Barrett missed the Pumas' first-ever away victory over the All Blacks last weekend due to a neck injury, but he is back in contention for the Rugby Championship clash at FMG Stadium Waikato.

The two-time World Rugby Player of the Year said: "I'm feeling really good, sun's on the back, beautiful Hamilton day, and good to get a full training under my belt, too."

He quipped: "I've realised that I've got to get a neck like a front rower to be able to handle these knocks, so I've been working hard on it in the gym with Pete [All Blacks physio Pete Gallagher].

"A few more shoulder-on tackles, and I'd say I'm just about ready to go."

The All Blacks have lost four out of six Tests this year and are third in the Rugby Championship table after their historic loss to Michael Cheika's men in round three.

Barrett says the All Blacks will stick with their principles but are prepared to adapt.

"We don’t want to be like other teams," he added. "We've still got to be the expressive All Blacks that we know we can be.

"When the pressure comes on, we want to run the ball, keep it in hand, it's just what feels so natural to us.

"We've identified that in games that we’ve lost, we may need to kick the ball a little bit more, it seems unnatural, but it's just being aware of that.

"And looking to attack in different ways – everyone on our feet, chasing kicks, getting those 50-50 bounces or flooding rucks and looking for turnovers that way. We are figuring out the way that we want to play."

Ian Foster backed captain Sam Cane but knows New Zealand are "under the spotlight" after they suffered a historic Rugby Championship defeat to Argentina on Saturday.

The Pumas moved to the top of the standings with their first away victory over the All Blacks, winning 25-18 in Christchurch.

While Michael Cheika's side were on cloud nine, the All Blacks crashed back down to earth after lifting the gloom with a win over South Africa at Ellis Park.

New Zealand head coach Foster was informed he would keep his job through to the Rugby World Cup in France next year following the win over the Springboks, but questions are being asked about his future again.

Cane has also come under fire and Foster hauled him off after he showed indiscipline to gift Argentina a penalty by tackling Pablo Matera without the ball 14 minutes from time, with Emiliano Boffelli punishing him by extending the lead to seven points.

Foster said: "Clearly he [Cane] is under the spotlight. We are all under the spotlight when things don't go well. But behind the scenes, [Cane is] strong.

"I thought a lot of his tackle and work around the breakdown was a big shift up in the last two games, and we are pleased with that.'"

Foster said he would be speaking to Cane about his hit on Matera.

He added: "Yeah, no doubt about that. We will work through all that. It's probably reflective of a team that's trying really, really hard and is close and not quite there."

There was good news for the All Blacks on Sunday, when Brodie Retallick was cleared to join the squad in Hamilton after recovering from a broken cheekbone.

Defeat for holders New Zealand was their fourth in six Tests this year and left them third in the table behind the Pumas and Australia.

Ian Foster says New Zealand are "hurting" and on "a tough learning curve" after they were beaten at home by Argentina for the first time in Christchurch on Saturday.

The All Blacks had halted a three-match losing streak by beating South Africa at Ellis Park, but the Pumas consigned them to a historic 25-18 Rugby Championship defeat at Orangetheory Stadium.

Emiliano Boffelli booted 20 points and Juan Martin Gonzalez scored the Pumas' only try as they fought back to secure a stunning victory.

All Blacks head coach Foster was backed to keep his job through to the Rugby World Cup in France next year following the win over the world champions in Johannesburg, but this loss put him back in the spotlight.

Foster expressed his frustration over his side's inconsistency following a defeat that leaves them third in the table behind surprise leaders Argentina and Australia.

"[I am] Not losing patience, but certainly hurting." said Foster.

"It's hard work when the team is not, sort of, at 100 per cent every week. But I have been there when it is, and I know how much experience you need to get to that point and how much hard work and how settled the team needs to be.

"For us, as you can imagine, there is a shed full of people that are hurting right now. We are working hard and making some moves in our game.

"Things are hard work at the moment. I thought that at half-time, we had got some really good set-piece dominance. We kept them in the game with what I thought was some pretty average on the offside line.

"We gave them four penalties in that space in the second half."

The 57-year-old continued: "We ended up trying to over-play our hand, really, and got a little bit frustrated against them. Our set-piece didn't quite work the way we wanted in the latter part, and we probably forgot to play our kicking game.

"So, a tough learning curve for this group at the moment."

Argentina claimed their first away victory over New Zealand as an outstanding defensive performance saw them seal a 25-18 win in the Rugby Championship.

The Pumas were consistently under intense pressure in Christchurch but they overturned a 15-12 half-time deficit through the boot of Emiliano Boffelli and a superb rearguard effort saw them cling on.

It is a result that will only intensify the scrutiny on All Blacks coach Ian Foster, whose side have followed a home Test series defeat to Ireland with losses to South Africa and Argentina in their first three games of this competition.

Argentina, by contrast, are an in the unfamiliar position of sitting top of the Rugby Championship table, this famous win following a thrashing of Australia at home two weeks ago.

The prospect of Argentina pulling off such a shock looked unlikely in a first half in which New Zealand crossed for two tries.

Samisoni Taukei'aho went over after a lineout drive, a try that came either side of two penalties from Boffelli.

Richie Mo'unga then converted a three-pointer of his own before Caleb Clarke raced over after Argentina went long at a lineout and Rieko Ioane and Jordie Barrett combined to set up the wing down the left.

But another pair of Boffelli penalties kept Argentina within striking distance at half-time and they tightened their defence after the break.

A Mo'unga kick stretched the New Zealand lead to six but the All Blacks never added to their tally thereafter.

The restart following the Mo'unga penalty saw Argentina steal the ball, allowing Juan Martin Gonzalez to steam over for the Pumas' sole try.

Boffelli converted and maintained his accuracy from the tee to convert another two penalties, leaving New Zealand - who saw Shannon Frizell sin-binned nine minutes from time - needing a converted try just to snatch a draw.

They were not up to the task despite dominating possession and territory, their last opportunity coming and going as they failed to keep a lineout straight deep into Argentina territory, giving the visitors the chance to boot the ball into touch after the subsequent scrum and spark jubilant celebrations.

Australia got back on track in the Rugby Championship by recording a deserved 25-17 win against South Africa in Adelaide, responding to their humiliating defeat to Argentina in emphatic fashion. 

Dave Rennie's men appeared keen to atone for their 48-17 hammering against the Pumas from the outset on Saturday, with Fraser McReight going over to put them in charge almost straight from the kick-off.

A further McReight try, as well as a fine effort from Marika Koroibete, handed the Wallabies an unassailable lead after the break, though South Africa restored some pride with two late scores from Kwagga Smith.

But the final score ultimately failed to reflect Australia's superiority as they inflicted back-to-back defeats on the out-of-shape visitors.

The Wallabies made a flying start and hit the front less than two minutes in; McReight going over following good work from Saia Fainga'a and Nic White after the hosts won possession in South Africa's 22.

Having opened his account with the subsequent conversion, Noah Lolesio successfully kicked a penalty just five minutes later as the hosts established a 10-point lead.

Handre Pollard reduced the arrears 24 minutes in with a penalty of his own as South Africa finally responded, but that was the sum of their first-half efforts as the Springboks spurned several opportunities to cut the hosts' advantage. 

The visitors were made to pay for their wastefulness eight minutes after the break, as Koroibete darted between two challenges to convert after the ball was worked out to the left by White.

Australia then added some gloss to the scoreline as James Slipper found Lolesio in space from a fine set-piece move, allowing the number 10 to hand over to McReight to ease to his second try of the match.

The visitors were at least able to salvage some pride – and deny their opponents a bonus point – when Smith took advantage of a defensive mix-up to cross unopposed with five minutes remaining, before doubling up on the final whistle. 

But even that late flurry could not prevent South Africa making it eight Tests without a win on the road against Australia (D1 L7), as Rennie's side moved on to nine points at the top of the Championship standings.

McReight at the double for rampant Wallabies

With the home crowd expecting a response following Australia's dismal loss in Argentina last time out, McReight settled the nerves by going over after just 62 seconds.

He then capped a brilliant move in the 57th minute to hand the Wallabies what proved to be an unassailable lead.

World champions' woes continue

There was to be no resounding reaction from the Springboks, however, who were well beaten by New Zealand last time out and looked well off the pace for much of this contest.

They are still without a win over the Wallabies in Australia since September 2013, when they enjoyed a comprehensive victory in Brisbane.  

Ian Foster was declared safe in his job as New Zealand head coach following the win over South Africa at Ellis Park, and now Argentina await the All Blacks.

Foster had overseen five defeats in six Tests before his team gritted out a 35-23 Rugby Championship win over South Africa two weeks ago.

Uncertainty had swirled over his future, and that will be held at bay providing New Zealand do not slip up on Saturday in Christchurch and next week in Hamilton.

Argentina, who drubbed Australia last time out in San Juan, will have just a second win in 34 meetings with New Zealand as their objective.

The first game of the weekend comes at the Adelaide Oval as Australia take on South Africa.

After two rounds of games, all four teams have won once and lost once. Here, Stats Perform previews the weekend clashes using Opta data.



Australia have won their last two Tests against South Africa, both in the 2021 Rugby Championship, and have not won more than two successive games against the Springboks since a five-game stretch from September 2010 to September 2012.

The omens are not great for South Africa, who are winless in their last seven Tests against the Wallabies in Australia (D1 L6). The games have typically been tight, though, with all but one decided by a margin of six points or fewer on the day. The Boks last beat the Wallabies in Australia in September 2013, when they enjoyed a 38-12 success in Brisbane.

Adelaide is rarely on the Wallabies' schedule, with this just the third men's Test to be played in the city and likely to be the toughest test they have faced there. Australia's previous Tests in Adelaide saw them beat the Pacific Islanders 29-14 in 2004 and Namibia 142-0 at the Rugby World Cup.


South Africa have shuffled their team but Lukhanyo Am keeps his place at centre. He has made six line breaks in this year's Rugby Championship, which is twice as many as any other player in the competition.

Australia wing Marika Koroibete pranked Jake Gordon in the opening match of this year's competition, claiming he and not Gordon would be captaining the Wallabies in the closing stages against Argentina after Nic White and James Slipper came off. Away from the playfulness, he is a serious player and has made four offloads so far in this Rugby Championship, second only to New Zealand's Rieko Ioane.



Over the long term, this has been a wholly one-sided rivalry, with New Zealand winning 31 of their 33 past meetings (D1 L1). The draw came in 1985, but Argentina's victory came only two years ago in Sydney. Since then, New Zealand have beaten the Pumas 38-0, 39-0 and 36-13, reasserting their supremacy in the rivalry. They have won all 15 of their previous matches on home soil against Argentina.

New Zealand have plenty to prove to their public as they arrive in Christchurch, having lost their last two Tests on home turf, each by 10 points or more at the hands of Ireland. They have never lost three consecutive games in New Zealand.

Argentina have won four of their last seven Tests after losing seven in a row beforehand.

New Zealand (3.7) and Argentina (3.3) have scored the most and second most points per attacking 22m entry in the 2022 Rugby Championship, more than one point per entry more than either Australia (2.1) or South Africa (1.9).


Argentina coach Michael Cheika will be hoping goal-kicking wing Emiliano Boffelli continues to pile on the points, having scored 53 across his last three Tests. In that time he has managed two tries, 11 conversions, and seven penalties, and he knows the way to the try line against the All Blacks too. Boffelli has crossed for a try in four of his last six Tests against New Zealand.

Wing Will Jordan has scored 10 tries in six Tests on home soil for New Zealand, crossing for at least one try in every one of those six Tests. Expect Jordan to again be a threat for an All Blacks team who have carried for 12.1 metres per possession on average in this year's Rugby Championship, the most of any team and more than three metres per possession more than last-ranked Argentina (8.9m).

Experienced full-back Reece Hodge has been recalled as one of six changes for Australia ahead of Saturday's Rugby Championship Test with South Africa.

The Wallabies welcome the Springboks to face them at Adelaide Oval, with Dave Rennie's hosts approaching the third-round game on the back of a record 48-17 loss to Argentina.

Hodge, a 57-cap veteran, takes the spot of Tom Wright who moves out to the wing, while centre Hunter Paisami returns from injury.

Noah Lolesio features at fly-half after James O'Connor was axed in the wake of the defeat in San Juan.

Tighthead prop Allan Alaalatoa returns after a family bereavement saw him leave Argentina, while Darcy Swain is dropped to the bench to make way for Matt Philip.

South Africa are looking to get the better of Australia in Australia for the first time in almost a decade, having last beaten the Wallabies in their own back yard in 2013.

Australia team to play South Africa: Reece Hodge, Tom Wright, Len Ikitau, Hunter Paisami, Marika Koroibete, Noah Lolesio, Nic White; James Slipper (captain), Folau Fainga’a, Allan Alaalatoa, Rory Arnold, Matt Philip, Jed Holloway, Fraser McReight, Rob Valetini.

Replacements: Dave Porecki, Scott Sio, Taniela Tupou, Darcy Swain, Rob Leota, Pete Samu, Tate McDermott, Andrew Kellaway.

Stephen Perofeta has convinced Ian Foster he is ready for international rugby after earning a spot in New Zealand's match squad for Saturday's clash with Argentina.

The 25-year-old, a polished performer at fly-half and full-back, comes into a group lifted by victory over South Africa at Ellis Park last time out.

All Black head coach Foster named Perofeta as the only new face for this weekend's clash in Christchurch, as the third round of the Rugby Championship rolls around.

The Blues and Taranaki star said he felt "extremely grateful and blessed to be in this position", adding: "The opportunity has presented itself for a potential debut. I can't explain the feeling. I'm excited to say the least."

With Beauden Barrett unavailable because of a neck problem, Foster had no hesitation in selecting the uncapped Perofeta among the replacements, saying he had been "quite impressive" in camp.

"He's confident, he's happy to talk in front of the group, but the main thing is he is leading by learning on the park," Foster said, quoted on the All Blacks website. "He's got a double role to learn [at first five-eighths and fullback] but he's done that particularly well."

Argentina crushed Australia 48-17 in the second round of the championship, after losing to the Wallabies in their opener.

Foster has been impressed by the Pumas and said: "Clearly, for those who watched their last two games, they're playing a fast, expansive game, and with that typical Argentinian combativeness at the breakdown.

"Those things I don't think will change. But, I think they're playing with a bit more ambition. I'm pretty impressed with what they delivered in their last Test, and I'm sure they're going to be coming here having a no-fear approach for this game, and to give it everything they've got."

New Zealand team: Jordie Barrett, Will Jordan, Rieko Ioane, David Havili, Caleb Clarke, Richie Mo'unga, Aaron Smith; Ethan de Groot, Samisoni Taukei'aho, Tyrel Lomax, Sam Whitelock, Scott Barrett, Shannon Frizell, Sam Cane (captain), Ardie Savea.

Replacements: Codie Taylor, George Bower, Fletcher Newell, Tupou Vaa'i, Akira Ioane, Finlay Christie, Stephen Perofeta, Quinn Tupaea.

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