All Blacks captain Kieran Read saluted his team-mates after they retained the Bledisloe Cup with a clinical 36-0 win over Australia at Eden Park.

The world champions scored five tries without reply, as New Zealand made amends for last weekend's 47-26 defeat to the Wallabies in Perth.

Sonny Bill Williams, Sevu Reece and George Bridge were promoted to the starting XV and each scored a try, as Steve Hansen's 100th match in charge proved one to savour.

Read said: "It feels fantastic. A lot's been said all week and the guys really fronted. So, I'm so happy. It's a trophy that we cherish. I know the Wallabies do as well.

"We both really love playing for this cup and it showed in these two matches.

"I don't think you can expect to have a result like that, but it comes through hard work.

"The team truly believes in each other and that's what we're going to need moving forward."

His opposite number, Michael Hooper, had high hopes of becoming the first Australia skipper in 17 years to get to grips with the Bledisloe Cup trophy.

But Read it was who joyously lifted the silverware in Auckland, leaving Hooper to reflect on where the second game in the series went wrong for Australia.

Hooper said on Sky Sports: "The turnaround in seven days... they dominated all bar a few minutes of that game in all areas, they were really good at the scrum, lineout, so hats off to them.

"Our boys, we threw everything we had at them the whole game, probably let it get too far away in the end there.

"We've got a lot of heart, a lot of heart to come down here. We've had a really good week, unfortunately it didn't show out there tonight.

"But we'll rebuild. We're still rebuilding and gaining momentum.

"We'll have a couple of days off, it's going to take a toll on our bodies. We'll get back together, regroup, and see what we can learn from this game and build and get better."

Picked off in Perth, but awesome in Auckland, the All Blacks restored normal order in their Bledisloe Cup rivalry as they crushed Australia 36-0 at Eden Park.

Embarrassed by last weekend's 47-26 defeat to their trans-Tasman rivals, Steve Hansen's New Zealand restored national pride and retained their trophy with a ruthless win.

Hansen made changes, after accusing his players of producing "dumb footy" at Optus Stadium, where they lost Scott Barrett to a controversial red card.

Into the pack came Nepo Laulala and Patrick Tuipulotu, with the backs given a shuffle with the inclusion of George Bridge, Sonny Bill Williams and Sevu Reece.

Williams crossed for New Zealand's third try early in the second half, after scores from Richie Mo'unga and Aaron Smith had put the hosts firmly in control, and Reece bolted through for the fourth in the 67th minute - his first for the All Blacks.

Bridge applied the finishing touches with the fifth try in the 77th minute. The changes worked for Hansen, to put it mildly.

Schalk Brits described the chance to captain South Africa for the first time at the age of 38 as a "dream come true" and expressed his gratitude for the opportunity.

Brits has not started for the Springboks since 2008 and has just 12 caps to his name, but he will lead the side out against Argentina this weekend.

The Bulls hooker becomes his country's oldest first-time skipper and is relishing the opportunity.

Brits says he will rely on regular captain Siya Kolisi for advice and hopes he can justify the "unbelievable honour" of being involved.

"To lead my country is one dream that has come true for me and it's going to be amazing to lead out this group of players representing our country and the Springboks," he told reporters on Friday.

"For me, being part of the Springboks is such a huge honour. I've been involved with the Springboks since 2008 and only played 12 Test matches, but every time I get selected, or even performing a supporting role, it's an unbelievable honour.

"Siya is still our captain and I am going to rely heavily on him and the other leaders in our team.

"From my perspective, we just want a complete team performance, and if we can get that right then I think we will be happy as a team."

Happy just to be back in the side, having last year returned from a lengthy spell at Saracens, Brits added: "Being back in the country and then part of the squad is unbelievable.

"I am really grateful, every day, for having a second chance."

Ruaridh McConnochie's England debut may be delayed further due to him suffering muscle soreness prior to Saturday's encounter against Wales.

The Bath winger had been due to face Warren Gatland's side in last weekend's reverse encounter at Twickenham, which England won 33-19, only to miss out with a hip problem.

Head coach Eddie Jones said McConnochie's issue is not the same as the one that saw him sit out last time around, but his chances of playing at the Principality Stadium are in doubt.

"Ruaridh pulled up a bit sore today so we're not 100 per cent sure how he’ll be," Jones said on Friday.

"We'll find out later tonight. It's not the same injury. He's just sore, so we'll find out about it."

There was better news on the progress of Mako Vunipola, though, with the Saracens prop close to returning from the hamstring injury he sustained towards the back end of last season.

"Mako did a bit of extra work at the end of training today, a bit of contact work. A bit of defence work. He should get some time next weekend against Ireland," Jones added.

Danny Cipriani insists he "can't be disappointed" at being omitted from England's Rugby World Cup squad, despite missing out on a "seven-year" goal.

The Gloucester fly-half was not included in a warm-weather trip to Treviso last month even though he was included in the prior two training camps.

Cipriani has flitted in and out of contention under head coach Eddie Jones in a heated battle for the 10 jersey with Owen Farrell and George Ford.

The 31-year-old's dream of playing at a World Cup is now certainly over having also missed out in 2011 and 2015, but Cipriani is harbouring no ill will.

"I would have loved to be involved in England's Rugby World Cup squad. It has been a seven-year goal with different challenges along the way," Cipriani wrote in his column for The Telegraph.

"But I can't be disappointed because there was honestly no expectation from my side. It was never my right. I never thought: 'Last season went pretty well, I should be picked.'

"All in all, I had two weeks in camp, then a week on my own with my sprint coach Margot Wells after being told I needed the extra conditioning. Then there was one final training session with game-based drills on the Friday, led by Eddie Jones.

"Afterwards, later that afternoon on my way back down to Cheltenham, he rang to say I would not be going out to Italy. Three days later, on the following Monday, I flew to Los Angeles and I have been here since."

It is not known whether Cipriani will make England's injury reserve list, but the Premiership player of the year plans on getting himself in prime condition should an emergency call come his way.

"Eddie has said that everyone needs to be ready and the best way to do that is for me to be the best version of myself at Gloucester," Cipriani said. "I have not been told where I am in the England pecking order, but if the stars align and the call does come at any point, I'll be ready. I felt ready seven years ago."

Michael Hooper says facing New Zealand with the prospect of ending a 17-year Bledisloe Cup drought "ups the hunger" for Australia.

The Wallabies thumped the All Blacks 47-26 in Perth last Saturday, taking full advantage of Scott Barrett's red card.

New Zealand lost their Rugby Championship title after South Africa beat Argentina later in the day and they will be looking for a first win in three Tests at Eden Park on Saturday, knowing they are in danger of slipping off the top of the rankings.

Australia have lost their last 18 Tests against the world champions, but captain Hooper is relishing the challenge of trying to get his hands on the Bledisloe Cup for the first time.

"These are the games you want to be a part of and it's even a level up again this week," the flanker said.

"You're going to a place where many a generation of Wallaby hasn't won and coming up against a great New Zealand side for some silverware on the line.

"It's fantastic being on the other end and certainly ups the hunger."

Assistant coach Simon Raiwalui knows Australia face a huge challenge at the Auckland venue.

"Obviously there's a history but we've been solely focused on what's in front of us. It's all in the present," Raiwalui said.

"We're under no illusions about what we face. It's a great All Black team full of quality players and they're going to come out and they're going to be fizzing."

Kieran Read insists the Bledisloe Cup decider with Australia will provide precisely the kind of high-pressure environment New Zealand thrive in.

The All Blacks suffered a stunning 47-26 loss to their rivals in Perth last time out, marking the highest points tally they have conceded in a Test and the joint-heaviest defeat in their proud history.

That result has given the Wallabies high hopes of a first series win over New Zealand since 2002 but Read says Steve Hansen's side are ready to put the record straight at Eden Park on Saturday.

"When you put in a performance like that, you want to rectify it," the captain said.

"We've got the chance this week, that's the best thing about it. We've had a good week but it's about putting it on the field.

"These moments are built for us as All Blacks and the way you're going to respond is crucial.

"This is a mental game as much as a physical game, so it's our response mentally and building up to the game in your head [that's important]. You can't do it all on the paddock.

"This group is hurting, that's how it should be in an All Black jersey and we've got the chance to go out and rectify that and we're excited by that."

The weight of history heavily favours New Zealand this weekend, with the nation unbeaten in 25 years at Eden Park.

Australia will be out to prove their thrashing of New Zealand last weekend was no flash in the pan when they attempt to win the Bledisloe Cup for the first time in 17 years on Saturday.

The Wallabies went on to crush the All Blacks 47-26 at Optus Stadium after Scott Barrett was shown a red card for a dangerous tackle on Michael Hooper.

That victory was not enough for Australia to win the Rugby Championship, with South Africa taking the title for the first time in a decade by beating Argentina later in the day.

Michael Cheika's men can still get their hands on a trophy ahead of the World Cup, though, as a famous win at fortress Eden Park will see them end a long wait to lift the Bledisloe Cup.

We take a look at a selection of key Opta facts for the trans-Tasman showdown in Auckland.

 

- Australia will be out to secure consecutive wins over New Zealand for the first time since a three-match streak in 2000-01.

- New Zealand have won their last 18 Tests against Australia at Eden Park and have not lost to the Wallabies at the venue since September 1986.

- The world champion All Blacks are winless in their last two Tests, having drawn against South Africa last month, and have not endured a longer run without a victory since a five-match losing streak in July-August 1998.

- Beauden Barrett has now scored 11 tries against Australia, the joint-most of any player against a single Tier 1 nation in Test history.

- Samu Kerevi made the most offloads (six) of any player in the Rugby Championship, one more than Australia team-mate Kurtley Beale and New Zealand’s Ben Smith.

- Australia have won only two of their last 10 Tests played away from home, those victories coming against Italy in Padova and Argentina in Salta in late 2018.

Australia coach Michael Cheika has no doubt over his team's hunger to regain the Bledisloe Cup as they prepare to face New Zealand again.

Cheika's side shocked the All Blacks in Perth last weekend, claiming a 47-26 victory in the first of two Bledisloe Cup matches this year, with the return fixture taking place in Auckland on Saturday.

New Zealand's defeat saw them surrender their grip on the Rugby Championship title, while they must win at Eden Park to retain the Bledisloe Cup, a trophy the Wallabies have not held since 2002.

Cheika told a news conference: "The Bledisloe Cup means a lot. It doesn't just mean a lot when you have it, it means probably more when you don't have it.

"That pursuit of trying to get it sometimes you sit off and you sort of defer it and say we'll take the game in our stride.

"But that's only hiding from the fact that we know we haven't had it for a long time and we're hungry to go there and do our best to try and take a trophy obviously.

"We know we're going to come up against an excellent opponent who is going to be ready to go as well and that's why I suppose the game is so looked forward to and anticipated."

Cheika's sentiments were echoed by Australia captain Michael Hooper.

"I said it last week, these are the games you want to be a part of and even a level up again this week for some of the stuff," Hooper said.

"It's just an amazing opportunity to be involved in. You go down to a place where many a generation of Wallabies hasn't won down there.

"You're coming up against a great New Zealand side for some silverware on the line, yeah it's fantastic being on the other receiving end and it certainly ups the hunger."

The Wallabies have just one further match ahead of the Rugby World Cup following the clash with the All Blacks, as they face Samoa in a friendly on September 7.

Warren Gatland challenged Wales to "step it up" as he named Dan Biggar as one of three changes to his starting line-up for the World Cup warm-up match against England on Saturday.

Wales missed the chance to replace New Zealand at the top of the rankings when they were beaten 33-19 by an experimental England side at Twickenham last weekend.

Gareth Anscombe suffered a knee injury which will keep him out of the World Cup in Japan as Eddie Jones' men ended the Grand Slam winners' 14-match winning run.

Biggar comes in at fly-half to replace Anscombe, while flanker James Davies and lock Jake Ball come in for the injured Adam Beard and Justin Tipuric in Cardiff.

Fit-again flanker Josh Navidi was named among the replacements, but scrum-half Tomos Williams (shoulder) remains sidelined.

Wales head coach Gatland said: "We were disappointed to get the loss last weekend, so it is important we step it up on Saturday and put in a big display in front of a packed Principality Stadium.

"The squad are looking forward to getting back out there, taking another step towards the Rugby World Cup and putting in a big performance."

Wales team to face England on Saturday: Liam Williams, George North, Jonathan Davies, Hadleigh Parkes, Josh Adams, Dan Biggar, Gareth Davies; Nicky Smith, Ken Owens, Tomas Francis, Jake Ball, Alun Wyn Jones (captain), Aaron Wainwright, James Davies, Ross Moriarty.

Replacements: Elliot Dee, Wyn Jones, Dillon Lewis, Aaron Shingler, Josh Navidi, Aled Davies, Jarrod Evans, Owen Watkin.

Eddie Jones has reminded his England squad "nothing has been achieved" heading into Saturday's World Cup warm-up match with Wales.

England claimed a 33-19 victory over the Six Nations champions on Sunday, and they face Warren Gatland's side again in Cardiff as World Cup preparations click into gear.

Ruaridh McConnochie - included in Jones' 31-man World Cup squad - will make his England debut at the Principality Stadium, while the visitors will be without the injured Sam Underhill and Tom Curry.

Although England's performance against Wales last Sunday was impressive, Jones says his side know they must keep stepping up their levels as the Japan-hosted tournament, now only five weeks away, draws closer.

"The squad has been progressing well this week and I think there is a realisation among the squad now that the hard work really starts, nothing has been achieved," Jones said.

"Our selection strategy for our second game is similar to the first, so a bit of a mix-and-match approach. We are looking at different combinations and have a particular strategy for this game.

"The game is very much about ourselves preparing for the World Cup and we are respectful that we have got such strong opposition at their home ground."

Lewis Ludlam will make his second consecutive start, moving to openside as Courtney Lawes comes into the back row, covering for Curry, while Maro Itoje starts in place of Charlie Ewels, who did not make the cut for the World Cup.

Jones' assistant Scott Wisemantel is confident McConnochie can thrive on his debut.

"He deserves his chance and it was unfortunate last week that he had that minor blow," Wisemantel told a news conference.

"But I think in Cardiff on Saturday where it will be quite intense, he'll settle into a rhythm and then he'll be fine."

England team to face Wales: Elliot Daly; Ruaridh McConnochie, Jonathan Joseph, Piers Francis, Joe Cokanasiga; George Ford, Willi Heinz; Ellis Genge, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Dan Cole; Joe Launchbury, Maro Itoje; Courtney Lawes, Lewis Ludlam, Billy Vunipola.

Replacements: Jamie George, Joe Marler, Kyle Sinckler, George Kruis, Jack Singleton, Ben Youngs, Owen Farrell, Manu Tuilagi.

All Blacks boss Steve Hansen has shown his ruthless side by making big changes to his team for Saturday's Bledisloe Cup redemption mission against Australia.

New Zealand were dealt a 47-26 thumping by the Wallabies last weekend in Perth, and Hansen has dropped prop Owen Franks and wings Ben Smith and Rieko Ioane for the rematch in Auckland.

He has been pressed into two further changes, with lock Scott Barrett suspended after his red card in the first game and centre Jack Goodhue injured.

Into the pack come Nepo Laulala and Patrick Tuipulotu, with the backs given a shuffle with the inclusion of George Bridge, Sonny Bill Williams and Sevu Reece.

Anton Lienert-Brown keeps his place for the Eden Park tussle but shuffles from inside to outside centre to accommodate Williams.

Head coach Hansen accused his team of playing "dumb footy" after the first game.

Ahead of the chance to avenge that heavy loss, he said: "We have worked hard this week on our game and all that comes with it. We've had a great preparation and really excited and looking forward to a massive, must-win match for the Bledisloe Cup on Saturday.

"We know that Australia will be determined and confident after their win in Perth which makes the challenge even more exciting."

With the Rugby World Cup just weeks away, Hansen wants to see a reaction from New Zealand to the joint-heaviest defeat in their history.

He said: "There's a lot of pride in the team and we've talked a lot about the Bledisloe being the second most important trophy and now we get the opportunity to show that this week - all of us working well, working hard, working smart."

Afterwards he will be able to make a judgement on whether the 15 players he fields were the right choices to handle the high-stakes occasion, or whether he needs to search again within his squad for his strongest line-up.

Hansen added, on the All Blacks website: "Australia showed they're a good side. We've got to put them under some pressure and take away the confidence they've got from playing the way they did last week.

"You've got to have a mindset that you've got to do whatever it takes to get yourself mentally and physically ready to play the game, and then you've got to walk towards that pressure and enjoy the pressure of it."

 

New Zealand team to play Australia: Beauden Barrett, Sevu Reece, Anton Lienert-Brown, Sonny Bill Williams, George Bridge, Richie Mo'unga, Aaron Smith; Joe Moody, Dane Coles, Nepo Laulala, Patrick Tuipulotu, Samuel Whitelock, Ardie Savea, Sam Cane, Kieran Read (captain).

Replacements: Codie Taylor, Ofa Tuungafasi, Angus Ta'avao, Jackson Hemopo, Matt Todd, TJ Perenara, Ngani Laumape, Jordie Barrett.

Schalk Brits will become the second oldest captain in Springbok history when he leads South Africa against Argentina on Saturday.

Hooker Brits, at 38 years and three months, has been chosen to lead the Boks in the Test at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria, as he makes his first start for the national team in over 10 years.

Victor Matfield was almost three months older than Brits when he skippered the Springboks in the 2015 Rugby World Cup third-place match, but Brits becomes the oldest man to be a first-time captain of the team.

With World Cup places at stake, coach Rassie Erasmus has selected a strong yet experimental side, challenging some of his players to prove they deserve a seat on the plane to Japan.

Erasmus said it was "make or break" for a number of the players, as he prepares to finalise his tournament squad.

The pack shows changes following the Boks' Rugby Championship triumph, with flanker Siya Kolisi, number eight Marcell Coetzee and prop Thomas du Toit named in the starting XV, with Wilco Louw - another prop - and back-rower Marco van Staden on the bench.

Kolisi, coming back from a knee injury, is the team's regular captain but may only last for part of the first half as Erasmus eases him back into the team.

"I've asked Siya to empty his tank and go as hard for as long as he can," Erasmus said.

"I've told him he might even come off in the first half. He has played less than 50 minutes of Currie Cup rugby in the last 12 weeks but I needed him to have a taste of Test rugby again before we leave for Japan."

Cobus Reinach gets a chance to impress at scrum-half, with fly-half Elton Jantjies primed to take over the captaincy if - as seems likely - South Africa replace Brits with the uncapped Scarra Ntubeni during the match.

Herschel Jantjies is ruled out after taking a blow to the head in training that is not expected to affect his World Cup chances.

Erasmus urged his players to raise their level for what is their last match before heading to Japan.

He said: "No matter what has happened before this weekend, the momentum we will go to the World Cup with will depend on what happens on Saturday.

"Some of these players will know they are on the plane but for others it is make or break – and even if they don't make the plane there will be six standby roles to be identified."

 

South Africa team to play Argentina: Warrick Gelant, Sbu Nkosi, Jesse Kriel, Andre Esterhuizen, Dillyn Leyds, Elton Jantjies, Cobus Reinach; Thomas du Toit, Schalk Brits, Vincent Koch, RG Snyman, Lood de Jager, Siya Kolisi, Rynhardt Elstadt, Marcell Coetzee.

Replacements: Scarra Ntubeni, Lizo Gqoboka, Wilco Louw, Marvin Orie, Marco van Staden, Kwagga Smith, Faf de Klerk, Frans Steyn.

Joey Carbery looks set to be included in Ireland's Rugby World Cup squad after discovering an ankle injury should only keep him out for up to six weeks.

There were concerns that the fly-half could face a long-term absence when he was carted off in the 29-10 World Cup warm-up win over Italy last Saturday.

Carbery did damage at the base of a ruck in the second half and looked a forlorn figure as he left the field at the Aviva Stadium.

The 23-year-old's injury is not as serious as feared, though, and he is expected to be out for between four and six weeks after undergoing rehabilitation.

Ireland start their World Cup campaign against Scotland in Yokohama City five weeks on Sunday.

Carbery flew out with the Ireland squad for a warm-weather training camp in Portugal on Wednesday along with Devin Toner and Rob Herring, who have recovered from ankle and back injuries respectively.

John Cooney, Finlay Bealham and Mike Haley were omitted.

 

Ireland squad for Portugal training camp:

Forwards: Rory Best, Tadhg Beirne, Jack Conan, Sean Cronin, Tadhg Furlong, Cian Healy, Iain Henderson, Rob Herring, Dave Kilcoyne, Jean Kleyn, Jack McGrath, Jordi Murphy, Tommy O'Donnell,Peter O'Mahony, Andrew Porter, Rhys Ruddock, James Ryan, John Ryan, Niall Scannell, CJ Stander, Devin Toner, Josh van der Flier.

Backs: Will Addison, Bundee Aki, Ross Byrne, Joey Carbery, Jack Carty, Andrew Conway, Keith Earls, Chris Farrell, Robbie Henshaw, Dave Kearney, Rob Kearney, Jordan Larmour, Kieran Marmion, Luke McGrath, Conor Murray, Garry Ringrose, Johnny Sexton, Jacob Stockdale.

 

Duncan Taylor will win his first cap for over two years and Stuart McInally will captain Scotland in their first Rugby World Cup warm-up match against France on Saturday.

Taylor has not played for his country since June 2017 due to injury problems, but the 29-year-old will make up a new centre pairing with Huw Jones at the Allianz Riviera in Nice.

Fellow midfielder Rory Hutchinson and lock Scott Cummings could make their debuts off the bench against Les Bleus.

Adam Hastings gets the nod at fly-half and Ali Price starts at scrum-half five weeks before Scotland face Ireland in their World Cup opener in Yokohama City.

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend said: "A huge amount of work has gone in throughout the past two months in order to deliver our best level of performance in the Rugby World Cup.

"These four Tests are a vital part of that process in terms of testing our systems and combinations but also in seeing which players put their best foot forward when it comes to selection for the final 31-man group going to Japan next month."

 

Scotland: Stuart Hogg, Darcy Graham, Huw Jones, Duncan Taylor, Byron McGuigan, Adam Hastings, Ali Price; Jamie Bhatti, Stuart McInally (captain), Simon Berghan (Edinburgh), Ben Toolis, Grant Gilchrist, John Barclay, Jamie Ritchie, Josh Strauss.

Replacements: George Turner, Gordon Reid, Zander Fagerson, Scott Cummings, Matt Fagerson, George Horne, Rory Hutchinson, Blair Kinghorn.

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