New Zealand make nine changes for second Test against Fiji

Richie Mo’unga starts at fly-half for New Zealand
Richie Mo’unga starts at fly-half for New Zealand
©Steve Haag

New Zealand head coach Ian Foster has made nine changes for the starting line-up for the second Test against Fiji to be played in Hamilton on Saturday.

Damian McKenzie will start at fullback in the place of Jordie Barrett while Sevu Reece will move from right wing to left with Will Jordan coming into the starting XV.

With Reiko Ioane dropping to the bench, Anton Lienert-Brown returns at midfield partnering with David Havili. Aaron Smith retains his place at scrum-half with Richie Mo'unga returning at fly-half pushing Beauden Barrett to the bench.

The front row sees no change but Samuel Whitelock returns to captain the side and will be part of the second row along with Scott Barrett. Ardie Savea will be making his 50th Test appearance for the All Blacks along with Lienert-Brown.

“It was the second Test of the year for us last weekend and we were pretty happy with our performance. There were a lot of views about our performance and that’s the beauty of being in this team: people expect perfection," said Foster.

“We took some really good steps up from the week before (against Tonga) and we were satisfied with our performance, but it did highlight some areas we need to keep growing.

"This campaign has been about growing our game and making sure we have players that are ready to go for what will be a long season.”

New Zealand XV: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Will Jordan, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 David Havili, 11 Sevu Reece, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Jacobson, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Akira Ioane, 5 Samuel Whitelock (c), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 George Bower

Reserves: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Ethan de Groot, 18 Angus Ta’avao, 19 Brodie Retallick, 20 Shannon Frizell, 21 Brad Weber, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Rieko Ioane