Chris Ashton has received a seven-week suspension for his tip-tackle on Rory Kockott during Sale’s pre-season friendly win at Castres last Friday.
Ashton did not accept the charge but an independent disciplinary hearing found him guilty and issued a sanction that mean will miss England’s next training camp in Bristol and the first six games of the Sharks’ Gallagher Premiership season.
“It is an important principle of rugby regulation to prevent injury to others,” panel chair Richard Whittam said.
“Provocation is not a defence to foul play and lifting a player and dropping that player such that his head makes contact with the ground has the potential to cause serious injury.”
The All Blacks are bracing themselves for an Wallabies backlash in their Rugby Championship clash in Auckland on Saturday.
With injured Rieko Ioane ruled out, Waisake Naholo moves across to the left wing to accommodate Ben Smith on the right while Barrett, not required last week in Sydney, runs on at 15 for his third Test start, and will start alongside brother Beauden.
The one other backline change sees Ngani Laumape take the 12 jersey, replacing Ryan Crotty who was concussed when the All Blacks beat the Wallabies 38-13 in Sydney last week.
The starting forward pack is unchanged, with tighthead prop Owen Franks to play his milestone 100th Test, following on from Sam Whitelock reaching the mark in Sydney. On the bench Ofa Tuungafasi comes in for Tim Perry.
Another New Zealand win will give them the Bledisloe Cup, contested annually between the two countries, for a 16th straight year.
Hansen said he expected a much more determined Wallabies to take the field in the return encounter at Eden Park.
“The team is fully aware that it has the opportunity to close out the Bledisloe Cup series on Saturday. In saying that, we know that there’ll be a massive response from Australia following their performance last week,” he said.
“Not only are we excited by this challenge, but we’re looking forward to responding ourselves with a better performance.
“Our preparation this week – both physically and mentally – has been all about getting ready to do that. We’ll be looking to execute to an even higher level and play at an intensity that will challenge ourselves and our opponent.”
A win will also move them a step closer to a sixth Rugby Championship title in seven years.
Auckland’s Eden Park has not been kind to Australia in recent years.
They have lost all 17 Tests they have played there since 1986, including the most recent four by an average of 27 points, and the All Blacks have won their past 41 Tests at the venue since last losing to France 23-20 in 1994.
Hansen has also paid tribute to Franks, the ninth All Blacks centurion.
“He has started 90 of his 99 Tests to date, which is an incredible achievement for a tighthead prop, one of the most physically demanding positions on the footy field,” Hansen said.
“His professionalism and dedication to improvement has been an inspiration to other All Blacks for quite some time now.”
Franks already holds one notable record having played more games than any other player in Test history without scoring a try.
New Zealand (15-1): Jordie Barrett; Ben Smith, Jack Goodhue, Ngani Laumape, Waisake Naholo; Beauden Barrett, Aaron Smith; Kieran Read (capt), Sam Cane, Liam Squire; Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick; Owen Franks, Codie Taylor, Joe Moody.
Replacements: Nathan Harris, Karl Tu’inukuafe, Ofa Tuungafasi, Scott Barrett, Ardie Savea, TJ Perenara, Damian McKenzie, Anton Lienert-Brown.
Pivac was named as Warren Gatland‘s successor last month but will not take charge until after next year’s World Cup.
The New Zealander will start his fifth and final season at Llanelli when they take on Ulster on September 1 and he is aiming to go out on a high after losing out to Leinster in both the Guinness PRO14 final and the European Cup semi-finals last term.
And the 56-year-old, who led Scarlets to the PRO12 title in 2017, does not expect his future commitment to Wales to get in the way.
“That’s more of a challenge behind the scenes, just managing time really,” Pivac said. “I have sort of parked that now.
“It’s nice to know early what’s happening going forward but certainly the focus is this season with the Scarlets and making sure that we do the best we can with the players we have got this year.
“We would dearly love to make it three PRO14 finals in a row and try to improve on the performance we put out against Leinster in the season just gone.
“You want to leave the place in better shape than we found it, and I think we are going to do that, and we would dearly like to repeat what we did last year in both competitions, but more importantly try to win a trophy.”
Scarlets captain Ken Owens insists there is no chance of his players taking their eye off the ball knowing that their head coach is due to leave.
The Wales hooker said: “Everybody’s got pride in themselves and what they do. That’s been our biggest thing: everyone is accountable for their own standards and they don’t let them slip themselves. It’s pretty easy for me as a captain because all the boys just get on with it.
“Wayne is obviously moving on at the end of the season and the boys have hardly spoken about it. It’s just all about the here and now of getting the job done and making sure we perform and do what we need to do to win rugby matches.”