France

Carter back for changed All Blacks

Wed, 19 Jun 2013 17:49
Dan-carter-looks Victor-vito-abs-sits-630 Dan-carter-waterboy Rene-ranger-looks-630 Piri-weepu-_-dan-carter
We are committed to continue building the depth in our squad
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The return of ace flyhalf Dan Carter is one of five changes to the All Blacks team to play France in the third and final Test in New Plymouth on Saturday.

Only one of the injuries is due to injury.

Scrumhalf Piri Weepu will partner Carter at halfback, with Tawera Kerr-Barlow coming onto the bench.

The fit-again Carter comes in for Aaron Cruden, who is getting a much-needed rest.

Rene Ranger gets his first start of the three-Test series after two cameos off the bench, with Charles Piutau coming into the matchday 23 to cover the outside backs.

In the forwards, Victor Vito comes off the bench to get his first start in 2013 allowing Matt Todd an opportunity to come onto the bench.

While the starting locks remain the same, Steven Luatua comes onto the bench to cover both lock and the No.6 position.

Meanwhile, in the front row Dane Coles has suffered a calf strain and was unavailable for selection.

He has been replaced in the starting XV by Andrew Hore, with Keven Mealamu coming in as reserve hooker.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said that while the series has been won, they certainly won't be underestimating the French in this final match.

"We have put a full stop in last weekend's performance [a 30-0 whitewash] and expecting further improvement from ourselves, and another hard, physical contest from the French," Hansen said.

"However, we are committed to continue building the depth in our squad and introducing new players to Test match rugby, hence why we have selected the team we have."

New Zealand: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Rene Ranger, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Victor Vito, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Tony Woodcock, 18 Ben Franks, 19 Steven Luatua, 20 Matt Todd, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Charles Piutau.

Date: Saturday June 22
Venue: Yarrow Stadium, New Plymouth
Kick-off: 19.35 (09.35 French time; 07.35 GMT)
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Wayne Barnes (England), Alain Rolland (Ireland)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)

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