New Zealand and Australia head to Japan this weekend for the third and final instalment of this year’s Bledisloe Cup.
The All Blacks triumphed comfortably in the opening two matches on their way to winning the Rugby Championship, leaving the Wallabies playing for pride in Yokohama.
New Zealand have lost just twice in their last 21 games against Australia (W17, D2), winning nine of their last 10 games against the Wallabies, including the most recent encounter at a neutral venue – 34-17 at Twickenham in the 2015 Rugby World Cup final.
These sides have only met in Japan on one previous occasion, with the All Blacks prevailing 32-19 in 2009.
Australia endured a miserable Rugby Championship, finishing only a point off the bottom, and have won just three of their last 11 games (L8).
The Wallabies will be well aware of the threat posed by Rieko Ioane, who has scored three more Test tries (10) than any other player in 2018.
The top try scorers for Australia this year are Will Genia and Dane Haylett-Petty with three each.
Israel Folau has scored just two tries in seven matches this year – in 2017, he scored 12 tries in just 10 matches.
Whatever the result, it promises to be a special day for Sekope Kepu, named among the replacements, who could become the ninth player to win 100 caps for Australia and the first prop to do so. He would be the 10th prop from any nation to reach this milestone.
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