All Blacks opt for Barrett

Beauden BarrettNew Zealand (1/50 – Match Winner) have confirmed Beauden Barrett will start at fly-half against Argentina in the Rugby Championship on Saturday in one of three changes made by head coach Steve Hansen.

The 21-times capped player will make his Test debut at number 10 in place of the injured Aaron Cruden, who is currently recovering from a chest problem picked up in the 51-20 victory over Australia.

Barrett, who is usually seen in the full-back position for the Kiwis, will now be tasked with the kicking responsibilities as the All Blacks go in search of a second consecutive victory.

Ma’a Nonu returns at inside centre after a shoulder problem and Israel Dagg takes over at full-back, whilst Ben Smith moves to the wing and Cory Jane drops down to the bench.

New Zealand are currently second in the table behind South Africa who are undefeated after two victories over Argentina.

Hansen knows his side need to keep the pressure on the current leaders and is confident the All Blacks can build on their last performance against the Wallabies.

“There is a lot of respect for this Argentinian team, their last two performances against South Africa have been right up there and shows that they are capable of beating top opposition,” he said.

“The other challenge this week is on ourselves to repeat and improve on the performance against Australia.”

Argentina, who are priced at 14/1 for the match, have made two changes with Horacio Agulla and Leonardo Senatore coming into the side in place of Manuel Montero and Pablo Matera who drop out of the squad completely.

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