All Blacks bade farewell to outside centre Conrad Smith, who has taken a four-month sabbatical, with his namesake Ben Smith coming off the wing to replace him while the match-eve withdrawals of skipper and star flanker Richie McCaw and winger Cory Jane have catapulted Sam Cane and Charles Piutau into starting roles.



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All Blacks are tired of finishing Bledisloe Cup series on a low note. Coach Steve Hansen has issued a challenge for his players to not only sweep the series against Australia in Saturday's third Test at Dunedin but to do it with the panache of their defeat of the Springboks two weeks ago.

WHAT, WHERE AND WHEN: New Zealand v Australia, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, 5.35pm (AEDT) Saturday

FORM GUIDE: New Zealand WWWWW, Australian WLWLL

MATCH ODDS: (sportingbet.com.au) New Zealand $1.12, Australia $6.50 (correct as at 3pm 18/10)

Dead rubber Bledisloe Cup Tests have been a problem for New Zealand in recent years. They suffered losses in Hong Kong (26-24) in 2010 and Brisbane (25-20) a year later when the silverware was already in the cabinet. Last year's 18-18 draw in Brisbane was just as galling for Hansen, who lamented their poor buildup immediately after securing the Rugby Championship.

New Zealand will play their last home Test of the year without captain Richie McCaw and wing Cory Jane. Training injuries ruled the pair out on Thursday, with their spots handed to flanker Sam Cane and Charles Piutau. Hansen says the loss of their experience is compensated for with enthusiasm, which will be needed against a Wallabies side who were outclassed 47-29 in Sydney and 27-16 in Wellington two months ago.


''I think they're a completely different beast to when we played them earlier in the year,'' Hansen said. ''They'll be a lot more attacking and probably willing to throw the ball around. There's not much to lose for them.'' That approach will be aided by ideal conditions under the covered Forsyth Barr Stadium, where the Wallabies have yet to play a Test. They won on their previous visit to Dunedin, at former venue Carisbrook in 2001.

Meanwhile the All Blacks will seek to maintain a dominant record this year that has seen them not only win all their nine Tests but do so by a double-figure margin. Their last 17 wins, dating back to August last year, have all been by 10 points or more. In that time they have also suffered the Brisbane draw and a loss to England at Twickenham

Both sides enter the Dunedin clash - the inaugural meeting between the two teams at Forsyth Barr Stadium and the first in the South Island city since Australia's 2001 triumph at Carisbrook - with injuries to key players. The Wallabies have lost goalkicking ace Christian Lealiifano, backrower Scott Fardy and flyers Joe Tomane and Chris Feauai-Sautia, resulting in call-ups for Matt Toomua at inside centre, Ben McCalman at No.8 and Peter Betham for his Test debut on the wing.