Australia v New Zealand: Everything you need to know

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Australia face another major challenge when they attempt to mark Stephen Moore's final home international with a Bledisloe Cup victory over New Zealand at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.

The All Blacks will be without talisman Beauden Barrett in Brisbane as the fly-half is suffering from concussion symptoms, so Lima Sopoaga will make only his second Test start in over two years after his first came on debut.

New Zealand have won their last seven games against the Wallabies, but needed a late Barrett try to see off Michael Cheika's men 35-29 in their last encounter in Dunedin.

Moore is set to make his last appearance for his country on home soil in his hometown off the bench and the former captain is determined to sign off in style.

"Everyone comes out of the woodwork, but it is great to get the opportunity to play at home and got a few mates who are going to rock up to the game, my family as well." said the hooker.

"I would like to think they've been there the whole time.

"That means a lot to me but I really want to keep the focus firmly on the team's performance and significance of this game for this particular group of players is really big."

Captain Kieran Read will make his 100th start for the world champions. 

 

HEAD TO HEAD

Australia: 42
New Zealand:111
Draw: 7

 

KEY PLAYERS

Marika Koroibete (Australia)

Koroibete has made a great start to his Australia career, scoring three tries in as many Tests. The rugby league convert followed up his double against South Africa with another five-pointer in the win over Argentina that sealed second spot in the Rugby Championship. 

The Wallabies will be looking for the rapid wing to get the All Blacks on the back foot this weekend.

Lima Sopoaga (New Zealand)

Sopoaga has had a long time to wait for his second All Blacks start and will need be desperate make up for lost time in the absence of Barrett. Australia head coach Cheika knows all about the playmaker's qualities, saying: "I've had the chance to coach him, albeit in a different environment in the Barbarians [in 2015], so I know the quality he brings in the game. I think he'll be a different proposition to Barrett but no less dangerous."

 

THE LINE-UPS

Australia: Israel Folau, Marika Koroibete, Tevita Kuridrani, Kurtley Beale, Reece Hodge, Bernard Foley, Will Genia; Scott Sio, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Sekope Kepu, Rob Simmons, Adam Coleman, Jack Dempsey, Michael Hooper, Sean McMahon.

New Zealand: Damian McKenzie, Waisake Naholo, Ryan Crotty, Sonny Bill Williams, Rieko Ioane, Lima Sopoaga, Aaron Smith; Kane Hames, Dane Coles, Nepo Laulala, Sam Whitelock, Scott Barrett, Liam Squire, Sam Cane, Kieran Read.

 

PRE-MATCH TALK

Michael Hooper (Australia): "We're ready to test ourselves. We've definitely done some good building over the last couple of weeks. I think we have got a greater belief in our game and what we can do and we have also seen a lot of players step up within that time as well. For us to beat them in front of a home crowd would be fantastic."

Kieran Read (New Zealand): "They are certainly a more polished side than where they started the year at. They've got talent, there is no doubt about that, and they are certainly putting it together more as a team at the moment. They are hungry, their motivation is high and we know it is going to be a tough game."

 

OPTA STATS

- Australia have won their last two games at Suncorp Stadium, the last time they won more on the trot was a five-game streak from 2009 to 2012.
- New Zealand have won their last six games on the bounce and have conceded just six first-half points across their last three fixtures.
- The All Blacks have won their last nine games away from home (excluding neutral venues), not having lost on the road since a 2015 visit to Sydney to face the Wallabies.
- Stephen Moore is poised to play his 30th game against the All Blacks, eclipsing David Campese as the second most capped Wallaby against New Zealand; only Adam Ashley-Cooper (31) has faced them more times.