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Sonny Bill returns for Pumas Test after three month absence

Sonny Bill Williams during an All Blacks training session. Phil Walter/Getty Images

Sonny Bill Williams returns from three months on the sideline when the All Blacks seek a winning return to the Rugby Championship against Argentina in Buenos Aires.

Coach Steve Hansen has made six starting changes and two positional switches from the team upset 36-34 by South Africa in Wellington, with regulars Aaron Smith and Owen Franks among the casualties.

Inside centre Williams is the most notable returnee, having played no rugby since the third Test against France in Dunedin on June 23.

He links in the midfield with Ryan Crotty, who moves out one spot, while Ben Smith also switches roles, from wing to fullback, ousting Jordie Barrett.

Waisake Naholo is injected on the wing while there is a surprise at halfback where TJ Perenara will start his 50th Test, ahead of Aaron Smith.

A pack already missing five first-choice forwards - captain Kieran Read, Liam Squire, Brodie Retallick, Joe Moody and Dane Coles - is now also without centurion prop Owen Franks, who has been omitted.

Ofa Tu'ungafasi starts at tighthead, with former NSW Waratahs prop Angus Ta'avo promoted to the bench and set to make his Test debut.

Highlanders pair Luke Whitelock and Shannon Frizell come into a raw-looking loose forward mix while Sam Whitelock is skipper in place of Read, who will be available for next week's Test against South Africa in Pretoria.

Supersub outside back Damian McKenzie will miss his first Test of the year, having flown home following a family bereavement.

Hansen said his changes were designed to cope with a Pumas side he said had impressed him in the Rugby Championship.

They pushed the world champions hard in a 46-24 loss in Nelson and followed that with a 23-19 upset of the Wallabies.

"Argentina are a very good side who have shown they can win both away and at home. They're full of confidence and self-belief which will make them a very dangerous beast," he said.

Meanwhile, a large group of All Blacks used their day off in Buenos Aires in a unique way, hosting a hosting a training session at a maximum security prison.

Williams was among 13 players who visited the Fundacion Espartanos Prison, where they trained with 60 prisoners who form the facility's Spartans rugby club.

All Blacks: Ben Smith, Waisake Naholo, Ryan Crotty, Sonny Bill Williams, Rieko Ioane, Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara, Luke Whitelock, Sam Cane, Shannon Frizell, Scott Barrett, Sam Whitelock (capt), Ofa Tu'ungafasi, Codie Taylor, Karl Tu'inukuafe. Reserves: Nathan Harris, Tim Perry, Angus Ta'avao, Patrick Tuipulotu, Ardie Savea, Aaron Smith, Richie Mo'unga, Anton Lienert-Brown.