The most spoken about centre in the world, and I’m not referring to Lionel Mapoe, will make his debut for the All Blacks this weekend against England. Graham Henry has made four changes to the team that lost to Australia in Hong Kong, Sonny Bill Williams being one of them.
The 25-year-old Williams was named at outside centre and will replace Conrad Smith, and joins Ma’a Nonu to form a heavy weight centre combination. Add to this their two wings in Hosea Gear and Joe Rokocoko, and you have four players in the backline who all weigh more than 100kg.
Other changes to the team are Hosea Gear who replaces the injured Cory Jane, and scrummie Alby Mathewson making his first test start in place of Jimmy Cowan. Sam Whitelock replaces Tom Donnelly in the only change in the forwards.
15. Ben Foden, 14. Chris Ashton, 13. Mike Tindall, 12. Shontayne Hape, 11. Mark Cueto, 10. Toby Flood, 9. Ben Youngs, 8. Nick Easter, 7. Lewis Moody (captain), 6. Tom Croft, 5. Tom Palmer, 4. Courtney Lawes, 3. Dan Cole, 2. Steve Thompson, 1. Andrew Sheridan
Replacements: 16. Dylan Hartley, 17. David Wilson, 18. Dave Attwood, 19. Hendrie Fourie, 20. Danny Care, 21. Charlie Hodgson, 22. Delon Armitage
15. Mils Muliaina, 14. Joe Rokocoko, 13. Sonny Bill Williams, 12. Ma’a Nonu, 11. Hosea Gear, 10. Daniel Carter, 9. Alby Mathewson; 8. Kieran Read, 7. Richie McCaw (captain), 6. Jerome Kaino, 5. Sam Whitelock, 4. Brad Thorn, 3. Owen Franks, 2. Keven Mealamu, 1. Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16. Hika Elliot, 17. Ben Franks, 18. Anthony Boric, 19. Liam Messam, 20. Andy Ellis, 21. Stephen Donald, 22. Isaia ToeavaTweet