Henry calls on experience
August 25, 2011
Thomson has won a place in New Zealand's starting XV © Getty Images
Anthony Fainga'a Jerome Kaino James O'Connor Radike Samo Isaia Toeava Dan Vickerman Sonny Bill Williams
All Blacks coach Graham Henry has recalled a host of stars for their decisive Tri-Nations clash with Australia in Brisbane on Saturday.
Captain Richie McCaw and fly-half Dan Carter return for the All Blacks among 11 changes to the starting XV that lost to South Africa in Port Elizabeth. Only prop Tony Woodcock, hooker Keven Mealamu, flanker Adam Thomson and lock Sam Whitelock retain their places from the 18-5 defeat.
Jerome Kaino and Sonny Bill Williams are the major casualties with neither even finding their way on to the bench. Isaia Toeava covers the centres and back three from the bench with Ma'a Nonu and Conrad Smith once again linking up in midfield and Zac Guildford and Cory Jane selected on the wings. Piri Weepu ousts Jimmy Cowan at scrum-half while Brad Thorn packs down with Whitelock in the engine room and Owen Franks joins Mealamu and Woodcock in the front row.
Queensland Reds lock James Horwill will lead Australia for the first time, becoming the 77th Wallabies Test captain, following Rocky Elsom's demotion. Horwill packs down alongside Dan Vickerman, who makes his first start for the Wallabies since August 2008, with Nathan Sharpe captaining the Australian Barbarians against Canada on Friday.
Radike Samo makes his first start since 2004 at No.8 while Reds team-mate Anthony Faingaa is the beneficiary of James O'Connor's suspension as he comes off the bench to start alongside Pat McCabe in the centres. Adam Ashley-Cooper moves to right wing.
Australia: Kurtley Beale, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Anthony Fainga'a, Pat McCabe, Digby Ioane, Quade Cooper, Will Genia; Sekope Kepu, Stephen Moore, Ben Alexander, Dan Vickerman, James Horwill, Rocky Elsom, David Pocock, Radike Samo
Replacements: Saia Fainga'a, Salesi Ma'afu, Rob Simmons, Ben McCalman, Scott Higginbotham, Luke Burgess, TBC
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.
Referee: W Barnes
Assistant referees: C Joubert, C Wessels
Television Match Official: M Goddard
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.