Graham Henry has not taken to the idea of losing another match before the World Cup and has decided to recall almost all his top players to face Australia in Brisbane this weekend. The team sees 13 changes to the one that lost to South Africa on the weekend, and will be skippered by Richie McCaw.
Only two players retain the same jerseys they played in last weekend, and with two players switching positions to accommodate the returning players. Keven Mealamu retains the No. 2 jersey and Tony Woodcock retains his No. 1 jersey alongside him. Adam Thomson switches flanks and Sam Whitelock switches from 4 to 5 lock.
The rest of the forwards will include Owen Franks in the front row, Brad Thorn who returns to the second row and Kieran Read slotting in at the back of the scrum. The four scrum reserves are Andrew Hore, John Afoa, Ali Williams and Victor Vito.
Piri Weepu gets promoted to the starting scrumhalf position and will partner Dan Carter in the half backs. The tried and tested centre combination of Ma’a Nonu and Conrad Smith will make up the midfield, with Zac Guildford, Cory Jane and Mils Muliaina making up the back three. Andy Ellis, Colin Slade and Isaia Toeava will form the backup on the bench.
New Zealand: 15 Mils Muliaina, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (captain), 6 Adam Thomson, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Hore, 17 John Afoa, 18 Ali Williams, 19 Victor Vito, 20 Andy Ellis, 21 Colin Slade, 22 Isaia Toeava.Tweet