New Zealand v Argentina: Beauden Barrett starts for Kiwis
Last Updated: 05/09/14 12:44pm
Beauden Barrett starts Saturday’s Rugby Championship fixture against Argentina at fly-half after New Zealand's selectors decided not to risk Aaron Cruden.
The 23-year-old Barrett has made just two previous starts, both at full-back, with the remaining 19 appearances under coach Steve Hansen coming as a replacement.
But he begins this week’s match because Cruden is absent with a chest injury suffered against Australia at Eden Park.
Speaking ahead of the game against the Pumas at McLean Park in Napier, Hansen said: "Aaron could have played but the selectors weren't prepared to take the risk of him re-injuring himself and being out for a long period.”
Hansen has made just two other changes with Israel Dagg returning at full-back to play a Test on his home ground while Ben Smith moves to right wing to accommodate Dagg. Cory Jane drops out of the matchday squad altogether.
Hansen added: "The selectors felt this was the right time to give Israel an opportunity.
"We also want to make it clear that his selection is not a reflection on Cory Jane's play, as we have been very happy with his performances."
New Zealand: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 1 Wyatt Crockett, 2 Dane Coles, 3 Owen Franks, 4 Brodie Retallick, 5 Sam Whitelock, 6 Liam Messam, 7 Richie McCaw (c), 8 Kieran Read.
Replacements: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Joe Moody, 19 Jeremy Thrush, 20 Sam Cane, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Colin Slade, 23 Malakai Fekitoa.