All Blacks coach Graham Henry has changed his scrumhalf again with Jimmy Cowan recalled for the Tri-Nations Test against South Africa at Absa Stadium in Durban on Saturday.
Report courtesy www.news24.com/SAPA
Cowan comes in for Brendon Leonard, who started in the 28-19 defeat by the Springboks last weekend in Bloemfontein but does not make even the replacements bench.
Ironically, it was the third scrumhalf in the touring party, Piri Weepu, who sealed the fate of the nine-time Tri-Nations champions last Saturday in the second game of the annual southern hemisphere competition.
His wild pass from a scrum triggered a Springbok counter-attack that saw several more handling errors by the men in black before centre Jaque Fourie raced away for a try in the corner.
There is a second change in the starting line-up with a right knee sprain ruling out tighthead prop Neemia Tialata and Owen Franks taking over the No 3 shirt and John Afoa coming on to the bench.
The scrum was the one forward arena last weekend where New Zealand matched the Springboks, who were vastly superior in the line-outs and won more turnover ball.
“I said last week that the Bloemfontein Test would be a massive challenge and this weekend in Durban is no different given the strength of the Boks,” said Henry.
This will be the sixth Test of the year for the All Blacks and only fullback Mils Muliaina, centre Ma’a Nonu and locks Brad Thorn and Isaac Ross have made all the starting line-ups.
Muliaina makes his 74th appearance for his country and joins former skipper and centre Tana Umaga as the fourth most capped All Black when he runs out at Absa Stadium.
15. Mils Muliaina, 14. Josevata Rokocoko, 13. Conrad Smith, 12. Ma’a Nonu, 11. Sitiveni Sivivatu, 10. Stephen Donald, 9. Jimmy Cowan, 8. Rodney So’oialo, 7. Richie McCaw (captain), 6. Jerome Kaino, 5. Isaac Ross, 4. Brad Thorn, 3. Owen Franks, 2. Andrew Hore, 1. Tony Woodcock
16. Keven Mealamu, 17. John Afoa, 18. Jason Eaton, 19. Kieran Read, 20. Piri Weepu, 21. Luke McAlister, 22. Cory JaneTweet