All Blacks select experienced line-up
November 7, 2013
New Zealand picked up more silverware at the weekend © Getty Images
Enter the Autumn Internationals Fantasy Game © Scrum.com
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)
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
"Some people have it from day one and Brian did." Tom Hamilton talks to the two players who made their Ireland debuts alongside Brian O'Driscoll back in June 1999
Despite having lost all four of their 2014 Six Nations games, the future of Italian rugby is bright with the team showing a new youthful core, argues Enrico Borra
"The loudest cheer at a rugby game, away from social media gimmicks, pumping music and pyrotechnics will always be for a try." Tom Hamilton on the Twickenham atmosphere
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column