All Blacks team named to play South Africa
All Blacks Coach Graham Henry and his Assistant Coaches Steve Hansen and Wayne Smith have named the All Blacks team for their opening match of the Investec Tri Nations against South Africa at Westpac Stadium, Wellington, on Saturday 30 July.
1. Wyatt Crockett (4)
2. Andrew Hore (51)
3. Ben Franks (8)
4. Samuel Whitelock (14)
5. Ali Williams (62)
6. Jerome Kaino (38)
7. Richie McCaw – captain (95)
8. Adam Thomson (18)
9. Jimmy Cowan (45)
10. Daniel Carter (80)
11. Zac Guildford (5)
12. Ma’a Nonu (57)
13. Conrad Smith (46)
14. Cory Jane (22)
15. Mils Muliaina (95)
16. Corey Flynn (13)
17. John Afoa (31)
18. Jarrad Hoeata (1)
19. Liam Messam (7)
20. Piri Weepu (45)
21. Colin Slade (2)
22. Sonny Bill Williams (4)
Number of Test caps in brackets
The starting XV features four changes from the team that played against Fiji last week. In the forwards, Samuel Whitelock returns to the second row, replacing last week’s Test debutant Jarrad Hoeata (All Black number 1109), who moves to the bench, while Jerome Kaino is back in his regular starting position at blindside flanker, with Adam Thomson moving to number eight, and Liam Messam to the bench.
In the backs, Daniel Carter returns to the number 10 jersey while Cory Jane has recovered from his finger injury and is on the right wing, with Zac Guildford moving to the left wing.
The key change on the bench is the selection of midfielder Sonny Bill Williams – replacing Ben Smith in the number 22 jersey – who looks set to make his first Test appearance at home.
Meanwhile, the six points scored by Daniel Carter against Fiji has now seen him move to just two points from again becoming the highest points scorer in Test history. Carter is on 1,194 Test points with England’s Jonny Wilkinson on 1,195 points.
Graham Henry said the Springboks would be hurting after last week’s loss to Australia and would come out firing.
“They are a proud rugby nation and won’t want a repeat performance so we will have to be ready for that challenge. But we have had a good build–up this week and have picked a team we know that will be up for that challenge,” he said.
Players returning from injury not considered for selection include Richard Kahui (hamstring), Tony Woodcock (foot), Isaia Toeava (hip), Hosea Gear (hamstring) and Israel Dagg (thigh muscle). Toeava will be available for Auckland’s ITM Cup match against Taranaki in New Plymouth on Sunday, while Woodcock will also return to rugby next week, available for North Harbour’s match against Manawatu in Palmerston North next Tuesday.
The All Blacks and Springboks have played each other 81 times, with 45 wins to the All Blacks, 33 to South Africa and three draws. The last Test was last year’s thriller at the National Stadium in Johannesburg, which the All Blacks won 29–22. As well as Investec Tri Nations points, the Freedom Cup, the trophy contested by the two teams since 2004, will again be up for grabs.
Tickets to this weekend’s Test are still available from Ticketek, phone: 0800 842 538 or ticketek.co.nz.
For further information contact:
All Blacks Media Manager
M: 027 441 8461
The All Blacks: With a history extending more than a century, New Zealand’s national rugby team, the All Blacks, is the most successful international rugby team of all time and one of the most successful teams in world sport, with a winning Test record of 75 percent. The All Blacks won the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987 and play Australia and South Africa annually in the Investec Tri Nations tournament, which New Zealand has won 10 times in 15 years, including from 2005-2008 and in 2010. The All Blacks have also secured four Grand Slams against the Home Nations, in 1978, 2005, 2008 and 2010. Coach Graham Henry and his assistants Wayne Smith and Steve Hansen have coached the All Blacks since 2004 and have extended the team’s winning record in that time to 86 percent. In 2010, the All Blacks were again named IRB Team of the Year and Henry won his fourth IRB Coach of the Year Award.