New Zealand and Canada team announcements for their 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool A test at the ‘Cake Tin’ in Wellington on Saturday 24 September at 8:30pm, the last game of the pool.
The All Blacks have made a number of changes, most of them influenced by injury. Both of the wingers who faced France last week are out with injury, so Zac Guildford makes his first appearance of the tournament and Israel Dagg moves to the other wing. Veteran Mils Muliaina also makes his first appearance after being a late withdrawal against Japan. It will be his 99th test match.
Number Eight Kieran Read also makes his long awaited return from injury, despite another scare earlier this week. It will only be his second game in about three months, so will likely be lacking in some match fitness.
It is a relatively strong team for the All Blacks considering they have already made the quarter finals and only need a single point to guarantee topping the pool. Stars Richie McCaw and Dan Carter have both been named to start. Andrew Hore gets a start at hooker in an otherwise first choice front row. In the midfield Ma’a Nonu has earned a rest with Sonny Bill Williams taking his place at 12. Brad Thorn moves to the bench, giving Ali Williams a start.
Despite only having a five day turnaround since the hard fought draw against Japan, Canada have only made one change. Fullback James Pritchard is out with injury, so Matt Evans takes his place at the back.
Sun October 2 15.30 New Zealand v Canada Wellington Wellington Regional Stadium
New Zealand Team to Play Canada:
Mils Muliaina, Israel Dagg, Conrad Smith, Sonny Bill Williams, Zac Guildford, Dan Carter, Jimmy Cowan, Kieran Read, Richie McCaw (captain), Jerome Kaino, Ali Williams, Sam Whitelock, Owen Franks, Andrew Hore, Tony Woodcock.
Reserves: Keven Mealamu, Ben Franks, Brad Thorn, Anthony Boric, Piri Weepu, Colin Slade, Isaia Toeava
Canada Team to Play New Zealand:
1. Hubert Buydens, 2. Pat Riordan (captain), 3. Jason Marshall, 4. Jebb Sinclair, 5. Jamie Cudmore, 6. Adam Kleeberger, 7. Chauncey O’Toole, 8. Aaron Carpenter, 9. Ed Fairhurst, 10. Ander Monro, 11. Phil Mackenzie, 12. Ryan Smith, 13. DTH van der Merwe, 14. Conor Trainor, 15. Matt Evans.
Reserves: 16. Ryan Hamilton, 17. Scott Franklin, 18. Andrew Tiedemann, 19. Tyler Hotson, 20. Nanyak Dala, 21. Sean White, 22. Nathan Hirayama.