All Blacks Coach Graham Henry and his Assistant Coaches Steve Hansen and Wayne Smith have named the All Blacks team to play the Tri Nations Test against South Africa at Waikato Stadium, Hamilton, on Saturday 12 September.
Australia’s 21- 6 win over the Springboks on Saturday has kept the All Blacks chances alive in this year’s Tri Nations and All Blacks Coach Graham Henry said the team was energised by this weekend’s challenge.
“Every Test match between New Zealand and South Africa is a massive occasion but this weekend it’s a ‘winner takes all’ Test which we are excited about,” he said.
The All Blacks starting XV features the same forward pack which started the Bledisloe Cup thriller in Sydney three weeks ago, while in the backline there are two changes to the starting XV, with Stephen Donald starting at second five-eighths and Ma’a Nonu at centre.
On the reserves bench, there are three changes, with Adam Thomson coming into the forwards and Isaia Toeava and Cory Jane in the backs.
Meanwhile, All Blacks prop Tony Woodcock, who is playing his 57th Test, will become the third most capped All Blacks prop of all time behind Greg Somerville (66) and Craig Dowd (60), while captain Richie McCaw will play his 75th Test, Rodney So’oialo his 60th if he comes off the bench, and Jimmy Cowan will be playing his 200th first-class match.
Daniel Carter is currently sitting on 893 points in all Tests (25 tries, 156 conversions, 150 penalties and two dropped goals) and when he reaches 900 points will become just the seventh international player to reach the milestone.
It’s an historic Test match for Hamilton this weekend: the All Blacks are playing South Africa in the Waikato city for the first time and 31,500 fans will be in full voice with the match a sell out.
The All Blacks have played South Africa 77 times since 1921, with 42 wins to the All Blacks, 32 to South Africa and three draws.
The All Blacks will finish the 2009 Tri Nations the following weekend when they take on Australia at Westpac Stadium, Wellington.
All Blacks team
1. Tony Woodcock (56 Tests),2. Andrew Hore (41),3. Owen Franks (5),4. Brad Thorn (31),5. Isaac Ross (7),6. Jerome Kaino (21),7. Richie McCaw – captain (74),8. Kieran Read (10),9. Jimmy Cowan (26),10. Dan Carter (60),11. Sitiveni Sivivatu (38),12. Stephen Donald (15),13. Ma’a Nonu (40),14. Josevata Rokocoko (58),15. Mils Muliaina (75)
Reserves:16. Aled de Malmanche (1),17. John Afoa (18),18. Adam Thomson (10),19. Rodney So’oialo (59),20. Brendon Leonard (11),21. Isaia Toeava (15),22. Cory Jane (6)Tweet