The All Blacks have named their team to take on an ‘injury-ravaged’ Springbok team in Wellington on Saturday. The side features Adam Thomson completing his full house of loose forward positions by being named at number 8. Dan Carter will start at fly half with last week’s number 10, Colin Slade moving to the bench. There is a reprieve for Cory Jane on the right wing, who gets an opportunity to prove the selectors wrong with his initial omission from the squad. Even after his heroics last week, Sitiveni Sivivatu drops from the 22. Brad Thorn continues to be rested, but Sam Whitelock partners Ali Williams at lock with Hoeata moving to the bench. Also on the bench, Sonny Bill Williams will be looking to stamp his mark on a World Cup year. Yesterday Sonny Bill Williams confirmed he would be staying in New Zealand next season but still needs to confirm which province and Super franchise he will play for. It is understood that the Crusaders, Blues and Chiefs are competing for his signature.
This weekend’s test will be New Zealand’s first of the 2011 Tri-Nations. Last weekend the Springboks suffered a heavy defeat to the Wallabies and will be hoping to restore some pride before going back to South Africa.
All Blacks Team to Play Springboks:
1. Wyatt Crockett, 2. Andrew Hore, 3. Ben Franks, 4. Samuel Whitelock, 5. Ali Williams, 6.Jerome Kaino, 7. Richie McCaw (captain), 8. Adam Thomson, 9. Jimmy Cowan, 10. Daniel Carter, 11. Zac Guildford, 12. Ma’a Nonu, 13. Conrad Smith, 14. Cory Jane, 15. Mils Muliaina.
Reserves: 16. Corey Flynn, 17. John Afoa, 18. Jarrad Hoeata, 19. Liam Messam, 20. Piri Weepu, 21. Colin Slade, 22. Sonny Bill Williams