Jane back in black
Wed, 16 Oct 2013 16:18
Ben Smith starts at No.13
The All Blacks have tweaked their backline for the Bledisloe Cup clash against the Wallabies at Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday.
The starting XV features the return of 43-Test All Black Cory Jane who is back in the national side after recovering from a serious knee injury.
In a well-flagged move, Ben Smith moves from the wing to outside centre, taking over from Conrad Smith, who is on an extended break.
Keven Mealamu starts at hooker, with lock Jeremy Thrush also getting a start and Brodie Retallick moving to the bench. The only other change on the bench sees Tom Taylor come in as one of the back reserves.
All Black head coach Steve Hansen said: "It's great to have Cory Jane back. He has been a world-class performer and we are looking forward to seeing him back in the black jersey. It's also exciting to have Ben Smith getting his first start at centre for the season."
The All Blacks clinched the Rugby Championship in their last outing 11 days ago with a 38-27 victory over South Africa, but Hansen said this weekend would bring new challenges.
"We respect the Australians immensely, but we understand that this match not only has the challenge of our opponent, but also one of the biggest challenges in sport, and that is backing up a great performance with another great performance.
“This is a challenge this team needs and will help define the progress we are making. If we don't attempt to improve our performance from our last outing, we are vulnerable to being overtaken."
New Zealand: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Ben Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (captain), 6 Liam Messam, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Ben Franks, 19 Brodie Retallick, 20 Sam Cane, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Tom Taylor.
Date: Saturday, October 16
Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Kick-off: 19.35 (06.35 GMT)
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jaco Peyper (South Africa), Stuart Berry (South Africa)
TMO: Vinny Munro (New Zealand)
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