NZ tweak pack for Pumas rematch

Akira Ioane will make his second Test start in one of three changes to the New Zealand team to face Argentina in Newcastle on Saturday.

All Blacks coach Ian Foster has largely kept the same side that lost the first Test to Argentina two weeks ago in Sydney, with the backline remaining completely unchanged.

The three changes to the starting lineup all come among the forwards as Akira Ioane replaces Shannon Frizell at blindside flank. Ioane made his debut against Australia in Brisbane, but had his game cut short after New Zealand lost Ofa Tu’ungafasi to a red card.

Tighthead prop Nepo Laulala comes into the starting front row, with Tyrel Lomax moving onto the bench alongside Karl Tu’inukuafe. At lock, Scott Barrett starts with Patrick Tuipulotu dropping to the bench.

Among the reserves, TJ Perenara returns, while outside back Will Jordan, who also had limited time in the Brisbane Test, will also get another opportunity.

Loosehead prop Joe Moody will earn his 50th Test cap for New Zealand.

New Zealand are looking to end a two-match losing streak and Foster said they are expecting another tough battle against Argentina, who are coming off a draw with Austrlalia last weekend.

‘Argentina have shown two weeks in a row that they can compete at the highest level,’ Foster said. ‘They’ve grown as a nation, they’ve got good size and a lot of skill, so we’re certainly going in with our eyes wide open.’

All Blacks – 15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Jordie Barrett, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Jack Goodhue, 11 Caleb Clarke, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Sam Cane (c), 6 Akira Ioane, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Joe Moody.
Subs: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Alex Hodgman, 18 Tyrel Lomax, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Hoskins Sotutu, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Rieko Ioane, 23 Will Jordan

Photo: MICHAEL BRADLEY/AFP via Getty Images