Jermoe Kaino, Ma'a Nonu miss Auckland Bledisloe
August 21, 2014
The All Blacks will miss Ma'a Nonu's thrust in midfield © Getty Images
Jerome Kaino will be sidelined for a month with an elbow injury, dealing a major blow to the All Blacks ahead of the Bledisloe Cup Test against Australia at Eden Park on Saturday.
Kaino, the experienced defensive rock of the All Blacks, will be sidelined for at least a month with the elbow injury he sustained in the opening exchanges at ANZ Stadium.
Backline powerhouse Ma'a Nonu has also been ruled out with injury, with the shoulder injury he sustained in Sydney, but he is expected to miss only one match in The Rugby Championship.
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Crusaders midfielder Ryan Crotty replaces Nonu to make his first run-on start after seven appearances from the bench. Crotty beat Malakai Fekitoa to the No.12 jumper after Conrad Smith was restored to the starting side at outside centre after missing the first Test to attend the birth of his first child. Tight-head prop Charlie Faumuina also returns from illness to take his place on the bench.
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen is urging better execution and a stronger performance up front after the Wallabies enjoyed the lion's share of possession for the last 50 minutes at ANZ Stadium.
"While we were disappointed with the draw last weekend, we are excited by the opportunity that presents itself this weekend," Hansen said. "We have been working hard on all aspects of our game this week, and there's a definite resolve to improve the quality of our performance on Saturday."
Winger Cory Jane will play his 50th Test, while the unchanged Wallabies are aiming to end a 28-year drought at Eden Park.
New Zealand have won their past 32 matches at their spiritual home since an 18-18 draw with South Africa in 1994.
All Blacks: Ben Smith; Cory Jane, Conrad Smith, Ryan Crotty, Julian Savea; Aaron Cruden, Aaron Smith; Kieran Read, Richie McCaw (captain), Liam Messam; Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick; Owen Franks, Dane Coles, Wyatt Crockett. Replacements: Keven Mealamu, Ben Franks, Charlie Faumuina, Steven Luatua, Sam Cane, TJ Perenara, Beauden Barrett, Malakai Fekitoa.
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