Carter returns to spearhead All Blacks
October 28, 2010
Dan Carter returns for the All Blacks © Getty Images
Star fly-half Dan Carter returns but Sonny Bill Williams will have to wait to make his Test debut after being left out of the All Blacks squad to take on Australia in Hong Kong on Saturday.
Williams has dominated the headlines since being included in Graham Henry's tour squad but his omission shows the rugby league convert still has a way to go to prove himself worthy of a place in the world's number one side.
Carter's return after ankle surgery is one of four changes from the XV that beat the Wallabies 23-22 in Sydney last month as Henry picked his strongest possible team. Jerome Kaino is back at blindside flanker, Jimmy Cowan is in at scrum-half and Joe Rokocoko will win his 67th cap on the wing.
Australia have followed their New Zealand counterparts in naming a full-strength Wallabies team.
Wing Drew Mitchell and prop Ben Alexander return to the starting XV after missing Australia's last Test, the 23-22 loss to the All Blacks in Sydney last mont, through injury.
Coach Robbie Deans has otherwise kept the faith with the men who so nearly ended their ten-match losing streak at ANZ Stadium.
New Zealand: M Muliaina (Waikato); C Jane (Wellington), C Smith (Wellington), M Nonu (Wellington), J Rokocoko (Auckland); D Carter (Canterbury), J Cowan (Southland); T Woodcock (North Harbour), K Mealamu (Auckland), O Franks (Canterbury), B Thorn (Canterbury), T Donnelly (Otago), J Kaino (Auckland), R McCaw (Canterbury, captain), K Read (Canterbury)
Replacements: H Elliot (Hawke's Bay), J Afoa (Auckland), S Whitelock (Canterbury), D Braid (Auckland), A Mathewson (Wellington), S Donald (Waikato), I Toeava (Auckland)
Australia: K Beale (NSW Waratahs); J O'Connor (Western Force), A Ashley-Cooper (Brumbies), M Giteau (Brumbies), D Mitchell (NSW Waratahs); Q Cooper (Queensland Reds), W Genia (Queensland Reds); B Robinson (NSW Waratahs), S Moore (Brumbies), B Alexander (Brumbies), M Chisholm (Brumbies), N Sharpe (Western Force), R Elsom (Brumbies, capt), D Pocock (Western Force), B McCalman (Western Force)
Replacements: S Faingaa (Queensland Reds), J Slipper (Queensland Reds), D Mumm (NSW Waratahs), R Brown (Western Force), L Burgess (NSW Waratahs), B Barnes (NSW Waratahs), L Turner (NSW Waratahs)
Referee: A Rolland (Ire)
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