The All Blacks and the Fiji team have named their sides to play in the Christchurch earthquake fundraiser and Carisbrook on Friday. The test will draw the curtain down on Carisbrook’s storied history as a test venue. Future matches will be played in Dunedin’s groundbreaking new covered stadium.
The All Blacks team features debutante Jarrad Hoeata and the return of Ali Williams in the locking positions. Ali Williams has fought three years of injury to make his return to the team. He last played for the All Blacks in 2008.
Colin Slade makes his first test start at number 10, keeping regular fly half Dan Carter on the bench.
Liam Messam and Adam Thomson get the chance to show their worth to the squad at 8 and 6, with regulars Jerome Kaino on the bench and Kieran Read being rested. Sitiveni Sivivatu gets a reprieve from his initial non-selection in the All Black squad and starts on the wing.
Fiji have omitted Leone Nakarawa, a soldier banned as part of New Zealand’s banning of Fiji military personnel.
All Blacks Team:
Mils Muliaina, Zac Guildford, Conrad Smith, Ma’a Nonu, Sitiveni Sivivatu, Colin Slade, Jimmy Cowan, Liam Messam, Richie McCaw (captain), Adam Thomson, Ali Williams, Jarrad Hoeata, Ben Franks, Andrew Hore, Wyatt Crockett.
Reserves: Ben Smith, Dan Carter, Piri Weepu, Jerome Kaino, Sam Whitelock, John Afoa, Corey Flynn
Fiji Rugby Team:
Iliesa Keresoni, Vereniki Goneva, Albert Vulivuli, Ravai Fatiaki, Napolioni Nalaga, Seremaia Bai, Vitori Buatava, Sakiusa Matadigo, Akapusi Qera, Dominiko Waqaniburotu (captain), Sekonaia Kalou, Ifereimi Rawaqa, Deacon Manu, Sunia Koto, Campese Ma’afu
Reserves: Netani Talei, Timoci Nagusa, Metuisela Talebula, Taniela Rawaqa, Nemia Ranuku, Malakai Ravulo, Rupeni Nasiga, Viliame Veikoso, Setefano Samoca.