Wednesday, September 16, 2009

All Blacks team announced - seven changes - 16/09/2009

The team features five changes and two positional changes to the starting XV which played against South Africa in Hamilton last weekend.

27-year-old Otago lock Tom Donnelly, who has impressed in this year’s Air New Zealand Cup, Junior All Blacks campaign and in training with the All Blacks squad, is to make his Test debut, replacing Isaac Ross who has started every Test this year.

Meanwhile, Donnelly’s Otago team mate, Adam Thomson, who made a strong showing off the bench in last weekend’s Test, has been picked at blindside flanker, replacing Jerome Kaino.

In the front row, tighthead prop Neemia Tialata returns to the starting line-up for the first time since the All Blacks Test against South Africa in Bloemfontein in July, replacing Owen Franks, who has started in the last five All Blacks Tests.

In the backline, Ma’a Nonu has moved to second-five eighths and Isaia Toeava is at centre, while Josevata Rokocoko has moved to the left wing, with Cory Jane getting his fourth start in his eighth Test on the right wing, with winger Sitiveni Sivivatu injured.

Meanwhile, Daniel Carter heads into this weekend’s match as the highest point scorer in Tri Nations history. He passed Andrew Mehrtens’ record of 328 points with his first kick at goal last weekend and currently sits on 345 points in the competition.

The All Blacks have played Australia 134 times since 1903 with 90 wins to the All Blacks, 39 to Australia and five draws. The All Blacks won the last Test 19-18 in Sydney last month and also won the last Test against Australia in New Zealand, 22-16, in the Investec Tri Nations opener in July.

The team:
1. Tony Woodcock (57 Tests) 2. Andrew Hore (42) 3. Neemia Tialata (36) 4. Brad Thorn (32) 5. Tom Donnelly 6. Adam Thomson (11) 7. Richie McCaw – captain (75) 8. Kieran Read (11)
9. Jimmy Cowan (27) 10. Dan Carter (61)
11. Josevata Rokocoko (59) 12. Ma’a Nonu (41) 13. Isaia Toeava (25) 14. Cory Jane (6) 15. Mils Muliaina (76)
16. Aled de Malmanche (1) 17. John Afoa (19) 18. Jason Eaton (12) 19. Rodney So’oialo (59)
20. Brendon Leonard (11) 21. Stephen Donald (16)
22. Hosea Gear (1)

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