New Zealand and Argentina team announcements for their 2011 Rugby World Cup quarter final at Eden Park in Auckland on Sunday.
Mils Muliaina to play 100 tests. Israel Dagg injured.
All Blacks stalwart Mils Muliaina has been given a reprieve after Israel Dagg was ruled out by injury. Muliaina will now get the opportunity to play his much anticipated 100th test for the All Blacks. Richard Kahui has also been ruled out by injury so Sonny Bill Williams has been named to make his first test start on the left wing. Cory Jane completes the back three.
With the headline making news that star All Black Dan Carter has been ruled out of the tournament, Colin Slade continues at number 10, with new squad member Aaron Cruden offering back up from the bench. Slade will be supported by the experienced Piri Weepu at halfback and a midfield of Ma’a Nonu and Conrad Smith. It is unclear who will perform the goal kicking duties, with Slade having a mixed tournament off the tee and Weepu offering a viable alternative.
It’s a straight forward selection for the All Black forward pack, with a Owen Franks, Mealamu, Woodcock, Thorn and Whitelock tight five. The All Blacks first choice loose forward trio of Kaino, McCaw and Read will take the field for the first time together this World Cup. However, it was revealed this week that McCaw will have to manage a painful foot injury as long as New Zealand remain in the tournament. His foot surgery earlier in the season continues to cause him discomfort.
Argentina coach Santiago Phelan has named a similar Pumas team the one that narrowly defeated Scotland in their third game of pool play. Star number eight Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, who has been ruled out of the tournament with injury has been replaced by Leonardo Senatore.
20.30 Quarter Final 4: New Zealand (W Pool A) v Argentina (RU Pool B) Eden Park Auckland
New Zealand Team to Play Argentina:
Mils Muliaina, Cory Jane, Conrad Smith, Ma’a Nonu, Sonny Bill Williams, Colin Slade, Piri Weepu, Kieran Read, Richie McCaw (captain), Jerome Kaino, Brad Thorn, Sam Whitelock, Owen Franks, Keven Mealamu, Tony Woodcock.
Reserves: Andrew Hore, Ben Franks, Ali Williams, Victor Vito, Jimmy Cowan, Aaron Cruden, Isaia Toeava
Argentina Team to Play New Zealand:
Martin Rodriguez, Gonzalo Camacho, Marcelo Bosch, Felipe Contepomi (captain), Horacio Agulla, Santiago Fernandez, Nicolas Vergallo, Leonardo Senatore, Juan Manuel Leguizamon, Julio Farias Cabello, Patricio Albacete, Manuel Carizza, Juan Figallo, Mario Ledesma, Rodrigo Roncero.
Reserves: Agustin Creevy, Martin Scelzo, Marcos Ayerza, Alejandro Campos, Alfredo Lalanne, Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino, Juan Jose Imhoff