Australia vs New Zealand: Rugby Championship preview as Wallabies host All Blacks in Perth live on Sky Sports
Ahead of Sunday's Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup clash between Australia and New Zealand in Perth, live on Sky Sports Arena from 6.55am on Sunday, we hear the pre-match thoughts from both camps and also look at the Wallabies and All Blacks team news
Last Updated: 05/09/21 8:40am
A look at the team news and pre-match thoughts ahead of Sunday's Rugby Championship encounter between Australia and New Zealand in Perth, live on Sky Sports.
With the All Blacks having already secured and retained the Bledisloe Cup last month, courtesy of a runaway 57-22 win over the Wallabies, Sunday's Test comes into sharp focus in terms of the Rugby Championship.
Tune in to Sky Sports Arena from 6.55am on Sunday to catch the Test live...
It is GOOD to be back, and with a Bledisloe bang 🔥— Sky Sports Rugby Union (@SkySportsRugby) September 3, 2021
🗓️ Sunday - 6.55am
🇦🇺 Australia vs New Zealand 🇳🇿
Last time these sides met, the All Blacks put a record 57 points on the Wallabies 🤯
Here, for your enjoyment, are all eight of their tries 👀 pic.twitter.com/DphKKgjg0v
McDermott: Wallabies will bounce back from drubbing
Australia scrum-half Tate McDermott has admitted their performance in the 57-22 defeat by New Zealand at Eden Park last month did not befit their status as a tier-one nation.
The All Blacks thrashed the Wallabies to secure the Bledisloe Cup, the annual trophy contested by the two nations, for a 19th successive year, with the match also doubling as the teams' first in the Rugby Championship with South Africa and Argentina.
McDermott said Australia did not need extra motivation ahead of Sunday's Test in Perth - which was originally scheduled for August 28 - as they look to avoid a clean sweep in the best of three series.
"If there's no edge going into a game against New Zealand, we're kidding ourselves," McDermott told media this week.
"To concede 57 points and call ourselves a tier-one nation is quite embarrassing.
"We've looked at ourselves in the mirror. We've reviewed exactly what went wrong. The most frustrating part was it was our gifts letting them back into the game.
"We've got to cut that out otherwise we can't expect to compete with them... (The defence) was nowhere near good enough. Coming into this game, you'll see a massive emphasis on defence."
Ian Foster's All Blacks will be missing a trio of first-choice players in the shape of lock Sam Whitelock, fly-half Richie Mo'unga and scrum-half Aaron Smith - each staying home for the births of their children - but McDermott is expecting a tough encounter in Perth.
"You know very well who they are probably going to replace them with and it's just as much experience," he said.
"They left behind key players but they've replaced them with three World Cup players, gold medallists... Guys like TJ Perenara, like Beauden Barrett, if we are taking them lightly, we're kidding ourselves."
Plumtree: No 'silly' big changes for All Blacks ahead of Test
The All Blacks, meanwhile, ruled out making wholesale changes to their side as they look to sweep the Bledisloe Cup series and keep their winning momentum in the Rugby Championship.
Foster's side will have a new captain in Ardie Savea and a fresh half-back duo, due to that trio of first-choice players staying home for the births of their children.
Apart from those forced changes, selectors were wary of unsettling the side with too many new combinations, assistant coach John Plumtree admitted.
"We've had a couple of weeks break so we'd be silly to make wholesale changes because some of our players haven't had a lot of rugby," Plumtree said.
"We stuck with pretty much the same group through the two Bled games in New Zealand so we've got to be conscious of that.
"Making wholesale changes would be silly. We'll have to make some changes, yes, but settling on combinations we've been using is probably the smartest thing to do right now."
Beauden Barrett is confirmed to replace expectant father Mo'unga at fly-half and is joined by his brother Jordie at full-back, who has held off the challenge of Damian McKenzie.
Dave Rennie's Australia are a tougher prospect on home soil, and Plumtree says he expects a highly physical encounter at Perth Stadium, where the Wallabies thrashed the New Zealanders 47-26 in the leadup to the 2019 World Cup.
"They're trying to avoid a clean sweep and we know what they're going to bring," he added.
"That's been addressed and we understand that but our focus has been on our preparation and what we're going to bring to the game."
Australia: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Andrew Kellaway, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Noah Lolesio, 9 Tate McDermott; 1 James Slipper, 2 Folau Fainga'a, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 4 Darcy Swain, 5 Matt Philip, 6 Lachie Swinton, 7 Michael Hooper (c), 8 Rob Valetini.
Replacements: 16 Lachlan Lonergan, 17 Angus Bell, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Izack Rodda, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Nic White, 22 Reece Hodge, 23 Jordan Petaia.
New Zealand: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Will Jordan, 13 Anton Lienert Brown, 12 David Havili, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Brad Weber; 1 George Bower, 2 Codie Taylor, 3 Nepo Laulala, 4 Brodie Retallick, 5 Scott Barrett, 6 Akira Ioane, 7 Dalton Papalii, 8 Ardie Savea (c).
Replacements: 16 Samisoni Taukei'aho, 17 Karl Tu'inukuafe, 18 Angus Ta'avao, 19 Tupou Vaa'i, 20 Ethan Blackadder, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Damian McKenzie, 23 George Bridge.