All Blacks select experienced line-up
November 7, 2013
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New Zealand have named their most experienced pack in history for the Test against France at Stade de France in Paris on Saturday.
The All Blacks forwards boast a collective 538 caps and the side features a further 315 caps' worth experience in the backline and another 112 among the replacements for a total of 965. The squad includes three centurions - Richie McCaw, Tony Woodcock and Keven Mealamu - as Steve Hansen makes wholesale changes from the side that thrashed Japan at the weekend.
"The full squad has come together well after the Japan Test and are united with a common purpose … put in performances that we can all be proud of," Hansen said. "But we know this weekend's Test won't be easy - the French will come at us with real physicality, passion and something new. As well, the Dave Gallaher Trophy is again on the line, it means a lot to the team, and is certainly something extra to play for this weekend."
All Blacks: (caps)
Israel Dagg (35); Cory Jane (43), Ben Smith (23), Ma'a Nonu (85), Charles Piutau (8); Daniel Carter (98), Aaron Smith (23); Kieran Read (58), Richie McCaw (121, captain), Liam Messam (26); Samuel Whitelock (48), Brodie Retallick (21); Owen Franks (51), Keven Mealamu (108), Tony Woodcock (105)
Replacements: Dane Coles (12), Wyatt Crockett (21), Charlie Faumuina (15), Steven Luatua (9), Sam Cane (14), Tawera Kerr-Barlow (12), Aaron Cruden (27), Ryan Crotty (2).
Follow live text commentary of the Test between France and New Zealand on Saturday, November 9 from 8pm (GMT) 9am (Sunday, November 10 NZDT), 7am (Sunday, November 10 AEDT)
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