Sport | Aaron Smith

Aaron Smith to play 100th All Blacks test in Eden Park Wallabies clash

After unveiling an eco-friendly new jersey yesterday, All Blacks coach Ian Foster has named his team for the first Bledisloe Cup clash this Saturday.

The game against trans-Tasman rivals the Wallabies will see halfback Aaron Smith play his 100th test match in the black jersey, becoming the first Māori player to achieve the rare milestone.

Bledisloe One team sheet 🔥 #BledisloeCup

Posted by All Blacks on Wednesday, August 4, 2021

The Ngāti Kahungunu descendant was named captain for the All Blacks for the first time in his career, against Fiji last month. However, the leadership duties have been handed over to Sam Whitelock who returns to captain the All Blacks.

The starting lineup will again see brothers Akira and Rieko Ioane together.

Meanwhile, Richie Mo'unga appears to have won the race to the number 10 jersey ahead of Beauden Barrett, with all three Barrett brothers, Scott, Beauden and Jordie starting off the bench.

Ngāti Raukawa hooker Codie Taylor will resume his spot in the run-on XV, as Dane Coles makes way.

With the Trans-Tasman bubble paused, the Wallabies gained an exemption to travel from Queensland to New Zealand to play the Bledisloe Cup Series. Auckland will host back-to-back tests against Australia, with NZ Rugby confirming on Tuesday Eden Park will host the second test on August 14, originally scheduled for Wellington on August 28.

This week's clash will kick off at 7pm on Saturday.