Stephen Perofeta will start at full-back for the All Blacks against Japan in the absence of Jordie and Beauden Barrett
Tokyo (AFP) - All Blacks head coach Ian Foster on Thursday named Stephen Perofeta at full-back for the Test against Japan at the weekend, with Beauden and Jordie Barrett unavailable after the death of their grandmother.
The three Barrett brothers, including lock forward Scott, were not due to arrive in Tokyo until Thursday after attending the funeral of their grandmother Mary in New Zealand.
Auckland Blues fly-half Perofeta will win his second cap in Saturday’s Test in Tokyo after making his debut as a substitute in the final minute of the All Blacks’ home defeat to Argentina in this year’s Rugby Championship.
Sam Whitelock will miss the first match of New Zealand’s northern hemisphere tour after the lock’s arrival in Japan was delayed until Wednesday by an inner ear condition caused by playing with his children on a trampoline.
Scrum-half Finlay Christie lines up alongside Richie Mo’unga in the half-backs with Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Braydon Ennor in the midfield. Centre Anton Lienert-Brown, in the squad for the first time this year, is on the bench.
Brodie Retallick will win his 99th cap partnering Tupou Vaa’i in the second row.
For Japan, World Cup veterans Michael Leitch, Kotaro Matsushima and Yutaka Nagare were all named in the starting fifteen.
Japan (15-1): Ryohei Yamanaka; Kotaro Matsushima, Dylan Riley, Ryoto Nakamura, Siosaia Fifita; Takuya Yamasawa, Yutaka Nagare; Tevita Tatafu, Kazuki Himeno, Michael Leitch; Jack Cornelsen, Warner Dearns; Jiwon Gu, Atsushi Sakate (capt), Keita Inagaki
Replacements: Takeshi Hino, Craig Millar, Shuhei Takeuchi, Kanji Shimokawa, Faulua Makisi, Naoto Saito, Seunsin Lee, Gerhard van den Heever
New Zealand (15-1): Stephen Perofeta; Sevu Reece, Braydon Ennor, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Caleb Clarke; Richie Mo’unga, Finlay Christie; Hoskins Sotutu, Sam Cane (capt), Shannon Frizell; Tupou Vaa’i, Brodie Retallick; Nepo Laulala, Dane Coles, George Bower
Replacements: Samisoni Taukei’aho, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Tyrel Lomax, Patrick Tuipulotu, Dalton Papali’i, Aaron Smith, David Havili, Anton Lienert-Brown