AARON SMITH has lost his starting spot in the All Blacks after breaching team protocol.
Tongues were wagging after the team released this morning showed that Piri Weepu would start at halfback for Saturday night’s test against South Africa in Dunedin.
Coach Steve Hansen revealed Smith – who has been a shining light during the international season – had breached a protocol in team recovery last week following the All Blacks’ victory over Argentina in Wellington.
Hansen would not be drawn on what he did exactly, but said it was a non-negotiable among the team.
Other changes to the side see Andrew Hore get the nod ahead of Keven Mealamu at hooker, while Sam Whitelock and Liam Messam return at lock and blindside for Brodie Retallick and Victor Vito respectively.
Julian Savea keeps his spot on the left wing ahead of Hosea Gear.
On the bench, Charlie Faumuina is preferred over Ben Franks as the back-up prop and Tamati Ellison takes over the utility back role from Ben Smith.« Back to Articles
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