Ardie Savea returns as All Blacks make changes for second Test with Fiji

Ardie Savea will play his first Test of 2021, this Saturday against Fiji, after he was named in the No. 7 jersey Phil Walter/Getty Images

Ardie Savea will play his first international of the season this weekend after he was named among a raft of All Blacks changes for the second Test against Fiji.

Kept out of last week's win and the earlier thrashing of Tonga by a knee injury, Savea returns in a new-look All Blacks back-row that also features the Blues' Akira Ioane and in-form Chiefs No. 8 Luke Jacobson.

It will be Savea's 50th Test appearance, with Anton Lienert-Brown, who hits the same milestone, also included for his first international of 2021 after he was previously sidelined by an elbow injury.

Lienert-Brown is joined in the centres by David Havili, the Crusaders utility impressing in his first start in the No. 12 jersey at Test level in the All Blacks' 57-23 triumph last weekend.

Richie Mo'unga, meanwhile, replaces Beauden Barrett in the No. 10 shirt with Aaron Smith, who captained the All Blacks last week, retained at scrum-half.

Will Jordan and Sevu Reece complete the Crusaders contingent in the backline on the right and left wings respectively, with George Bridge dropping out of the matchday 23.

Sam Whitelock returns to skipper the team this week, the Crusaders lock joined in the second-row by his Super Rugby teammate Scott Barrett, while coach Ian Foster has retained the same front-row that started in Dunedin in George Bower, Codie Taylor and Nepo Laulala.