Ioane dropped, Beauden Barrett returns for second Bledisloe Cup test

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - All Blacks back Rieko Ioane, whose sloppy grounding cost his team a try in the drawn first Bledisloe Cup test, has been dropped from the starting side for Sunday’s second clash against Australia.

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Rugby World Cup - Bronze Final - New Zealand v Wales - Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo, Japan - November 1, 2019 New Zealand's Rieko Ioane in action REUTERS/Matthew Childs

The outside centre, who crossed the line on the stroke of halftime last weekend but failed to ground the ball properly, has been dropped to the bench for the clash with the Wallabies at Eden Park.

Anton Lienert-Brown replaced Ioane at outside centre as coach Ian Foster made four changes to his starting line-up from the disappointing 16-16 draw in Wellington.

“It was our first test together last weekend and while there were some aspects of our game that we were pretty excited about ... we didn’t get the performance that we wanted,” Foster said.

Twice world Player of the Year Beauden Barrett, a late injury withdrawal from the first test, returned at fullback in place of Damian McKenzie.

Despite some criticism of his display last week, Richie Mo’unga retains the number 10 shirt as starting flyhalf, while Barrett’s brother Jordie remains on the right wing.

In other backline changes, Caleb Clarke will make his first test start on the left wing in place of George Bridge, who has been sidelined for up to six weeks with a chest injury.

Injury has also handed lock Tupou Vaa’i his first run-on start in place of Sam Whitelock, who was ruled out of the Eden Park match because of a concussion.

Dane Coles replaces Codie Taylor at hooker with the latter dropping to the bench alongside uncapped prop Alex Hodgman and lock Scott Barrett, who returns after a four-month injury layoff.

Team: 15-Beauden Barrett, 14-Jordie Barrett, 13-Anton Lienert-Brown, 12-Jack Goodhue, 11-Caleb Clarke, 10-Richie Mo’unga, 9-Aaron Smith, 8-Ardie Savea, 7-Sam Cane (captain), 6-Shannon Frizell, 5-Tupou Vaa’i, 4-Patrick Tuipulotu, 3-Ofa Tuungafasi, 2-Dane Coles, 1-Joe Moody

Replacements: 16-Codie Taylor, 17-Alex Hodgman, 18-Nepo Laulala, 19-Scott Barrett, 20-Hoskins Sotutu, 21-TJ Perenara, 22-Rieko Ioane, 23-Damian McKenzie

Reporting by Nick Mulvenney in Sydney; Editing by Richard Pullin