Sotutu replaces All Blacks No.8 Savea

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Coach Ian Foster has called on his All Blacks to make a statement in their Bledisloe Cup clash with the Wallabies in Melbourne on Thursday night, with a win also set to extend their Rugby Championship lead.

All four championship sides have struggled for consistency this season, but Foster said his team would approach the Wallabies confident about stretching their Bledisloe Cup domination to a 20th year.

"We've been training well and we're primed and ready to go," Foster told reporters on Tuesday.

"It's a big game in the Rugby Championship - everyone's on the same starting line with two rounds to go so it's a big weekend to make a bit of a statement.

"For the Wallabies, it's a massive Test as they have to win it to have a chance for the Bledisloe and for us, there's a Rugby Championship that's important to us, and also the chance to win the Bledisloe trophy."

Blues backrower Hoskins Sotutu will make his first start of the year as the replacement for star No.8 Ardie Savea.

New Zealand were forced to name a new-look backrow with Savea to miss the Marvel Stadium Test due to the birth of his child, while blindside flanker Shannon Frizell is also out through injury.

Captain Sam Cane remains at openside flanker and has been joined by Sotutu in his 11th Test, while Scott Barrett has moved from lock to six.

Sotutu, 24, hasn't played for the All Blacks since last November against Italy but Foster said he was ready for the opportunity.

"I just want him to be himself," Foster said.

"He's trained hard alongside Ardie, knows his roles well, and we want to go out and execute the game that we need him to play and also not be afraid to show some of the skill set that he's got."

The shift of Barrett, who also started at blindside flanker in the All Blacks' first Test against Ireland, means Brodie Retallick has been elevated from the bench to partner another Sam Whitelock in the second row.

The backline remains unchanged after New Zealand demolished Argentina by 50 points in Hamilton with Richie Mo'unga named at 10 and Beauden Barrett among the reserves.

Foster said the thumping victory had reinforced belief within the group, who took a battering after a home series loss to Ireland and then a defeat in New Zealand by the Pumas.

"When you have a couple of losses it's easy to go into your shell and you end up wanting something so much that you stifle a little bit the way that you play," he said.

"It's a matter of encouraging people that they know their role and should go and do it and we saw that in Hamilton, and the key now is to see it again."

NZ: Jordie Barrett, Will Jordan, Rieko Ioane, David Havili, Caleb Clarke, Richie Mo'unga, Aaron Smith, Hoskins Sotutu, Sam Cane (c), Scott Barrett, Samuel Whitelock, Brodie Retallick, Tyrel Lomax, Samisoni Taukei'aho, Ethan de Groot. Res: Dane Coles, George Bower, Fletcher Newell, Akira Ioane, Dalton Papali'i, Finlay Christie, Beauden Barrett, Quinn Tupaea.