Three new caps for All Blacks
June 8, 2010
Benson Stanley starts in midfield for the All Blacks © Getty Images
All Blacks coach Graham Henry has named three new caps to face Ireland in New Plymouth on Saturday.
Highlanders fullback Israel Dagg, Blues centre Benson Stanley and Crusaders loose-head Ben Franks have all been given the nod to start while Victor Vito, Sam Whitelock and Aaron Cruden are primed for Test bows off the bench.
It will be s special day for Franks, with his brother Owen starting in the No.3 jersey. The duo will become the first brothers to represent New Zealand in the same side since Robin and Zinzan Brooke in 1997.
"The Crusaders scrum was probably the best in the Super 14, I know they had Brad Thorn behind them, which is always helpful, but that's been picked on form," Henry said. "They've shown the way there and it's a good indicator for the other front row guys, that standard which needs to be reached."
Dagg has been rewarded for a superb Super 14 season with a place in his familiar fullback role, with Cory Jane remaining on the wing and Joe Rokocoko recalled. The All Blacks have been struggling with injuries in the build-up to their Test season, with regulars Mils Muliaina, Sitiveni Sivivatu, Ma'a Nonu, Andrew Hore, Ali Williams and Tom Donnelly all sidelined.
Stanley joins Conrad Smith in midfield while Dan Carter and Jimmy Cowan are retained as the starting halfback duo. In the pack, Anthony Boric is called in to partner Brad Thorn in the second-row while there is a settled look to the loose trio as skipper Richie McCaw, Jerome Kaino and Kieran Read pack down.
New Zealand: I Dagg (Highlanders); C Jane (Hurricanes), C Smith (Hurricanes), B Stanley (Blues), J Rokocoko (Blues); D Carter (Crusaders), J Cowan (Highlanders); B Franks (Crusaders), K Mealamu (Blues), O Franks (Crusaders), B Thorn (Crusaders), A Boric (Blues), J Kaino (Blues), R McCaw (Crusaders, capt), K Read (Crusaders).
Replacements: A de Malmanche (Chiefs), N Tialata (Hurricanes), S Whitelock (Crusaders), V Vito (Hurricanes), P Weepu (Hurricanes), A Cruden (Hurricanes), Z Guildford (Crusaders)