The All Blacks have made seven changes to the team that so comprehensively beat the Springboks last week, to face the Wallabies in this weekend Tri Nations clash in Auckland.
The changes come as coach Graham Henry has indicated that he will rotate his squad ahead of the World Cup later this year, all the while finding his best combinations. There are two changes in the front row with brother Franks swopping positions, Owen getting his turn to start the match, and Keven Mealamu returning to the hooking position.
In the second row the mighty Brad Thorn is back after having a nice week off, replacing Sam Whitelock. The last of the changes in the pack comes with Kieran Read returning to the back of the scrum, with Adam Thomson covering from the bench.
In the backs, we see the rotation policy in full swing with Piri Weepu starting ahead of Jimmy Cowan, Guildford being replaced by Hosea Gear and Cory Jane missing out to make space for Sivivatu. Both wingers and the scrumhalf sit out the weekend altogether.
The New Zealand team: 15 Mils Muliaina, 14 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (captain), 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Ali Williams, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Hore, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Sam Whitelock, 19 Adam Thomson, 20 Andy Ellis, 21 Colin Slade, 22 Sonny Bill Williams.Tweet