Henry recalls big guns
August 24, 2011
Woodcock keeps his place in the All Blacks front-row © Getty Images
Dan Carter Sir Graham Henry Jerome Kaino Richie McCaw Adam Thomson Sonny Bill Williams Tony Woodcock
The All Blacks have named their side for their Tri-Nations decider against Australia and there is no place for Jerome Kaino or Sonny Bill Williams in the squad.
The blindside is replaced in the back-row by Adam Thomson with Richie McCaw captaining his charges in his 98th Test. The side sees ten of the fifteen who started their 30-14 win over Australia in Auckland retain their place with Tony Woodcock starting his second match in a week.
The veteran prop was an injury worry prior to the World Cup but he has recently played for North Harbour in the ITM Cup in a bid to prove his fitness and lined up for the All Blacks in their 18-5 defeat to South Africa last weekend. And Graham Henry has rewarded the 75-cap front-row with a place in the side alongside Owen Franks and Keven Mealamu. Brad Thorn will be partnered by Sam Whitelock in the second-row engine room with the experienced Ali Williams dropped to the bench.
Elsewhere, Piri Weepu gets the scrum-half berth ahead of Jimmy Cowan where he will be partnered by Dan Carter. The All Blacks most capped midfield of Ma'a Nonu and Conrad Smith start alongside each other again but there is no place for outside centre Williams in the matchday squad. Zac Guildford continues his remarkable renaissance with a start on the wing where he will be partnered by Cory Jane on the opposite flank and Mils Muliaina at fullback.
Victor Vito - who received a surprise call-up to the All Blacks World Cup squad - will start from the bench alongside the likes of Isaia Toeava and Colin Slade. And Henry is looking for a big performance from his side in their final match prior to the World Cup.
"This is a tournament-defining match for the team," said Henry. "Australia are a dangerous team to play and they will be looking to bounce back from the loss against us in Auckland, so we will have to play at our very best. It's going to be a massive Test match."
All Blacks team:
New Zealand: Mils Muliaina, Cory Jane, Conrad Smith, Ma'a Nonu , Zac Guildford, Daniel Carter, Piri Weepu; Tony Woodcock, Keven Mealamu, Owen Franks, Brad Thorn, Samuel Whitelock, Adam Thomson, Richie McCaw (c), Kieran Read
Replacements: Andrew Hore, John Afoa, Ali Williams, Victor Vito, Andy Ellis, Colin Slade, Isaia Toeava.
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