WELLINGTON New Zealand centre Ryan Crotty has recovered from a head injury and returns to the All Blacks team to face fast-improving Argentina in the Rugby Championship on Saturday.
Crotty, who started against the Wallabies in Sydney on Aug. 20, missed the return game in Wellington with Anton Lienert-Brown making an impressive debut in the 29-9 victory that sealed the Bledisloe Cup for a 14th successive season.
Lienert-Brown was moved to the replacements' bench and hooker Codie Taylor returned to the side after he suffered a head knock in Sydney. Lock Luke Romano also came into the squad to add bulk off the bench.
Coach Steve Hansen had selected two loose forwards on the bench for the clashes against the Wallabies, with Liam Squire dropping out of the 23-man squad.
"In selecting this team, we felt there was the need for consistency," Hansen said on Thursday.
"The squad is five games into re-establishing themselves on the international stage and we felt that it would not be right to make a lot of changes.
"We know we'll be facing a completely different challenge this week," he added.
"Argentina will bring their traditional physicality up front and flair in the backs and we will have to be ready for whatever they throw at us."
The Pumas were unlucky to lose their opening game against South Africa in Nelspruit with the Springboks storming back with 17 points in the final 10 minutes to record a 30-23 victory.
Daniel Hourcade's side, however, won the return game in Salta with Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias slotting a late penalty to clinch a 26-24 victory over the Springboks.
New Zealand: 15-Ben Smith, 14-Israel Dagg, 13-Malakai Fekitoa, 12-Ryan Crotty, 11-Julian Savea, 10-Beauden Barrett, 9-Aaron Smith, 8-Kieran Read (captain), 7-Sam Cane, 6-Jerome Kaino, 5-Sam Whitelock, 4-Brodie Retallick, 3-Owen Franks, 2-Dane Coles, 1-Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16-Codie Taylor, 17-Wyatt Crockett, 18-Charlie Faumuina, 19-Luke Romano, 20-Ardie Savea, 21-TJ Perenara, 22-Aaron Cruden, 23-Anton Lienert-Brown
(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Napier; Editing by Ed Osmond)