Edinburgh - New Zealand coach Steve Hansen has
unveiled a new midfield combination as part of sweeping changes to the
starting side for the All Blacks' Test against Scotland in Edinburgh on
Tamati Ellison earns his third cap at inside centre with
Highlander team-mate Ben Smith playing outside, displacing the veteran
duo of Ma'a Nonu and Conrad Smith, and possibly hinting at the future
first-choice combination for the team.
Another eight from the
starting side that were held to an 18-18 draw by Australia last month
will cool their heels on the sidelines or on the bench in the team named
Hosea Gear makes way for wing Julia Savea, Piri
Weepu comes back into scrumhalf at the expense of Aaron Smith, while
Adam Thomson slots in at blindside flank for Liam Messam in the Richie
Victor Vito comes in at number eight with
lock Luke Romano and hooker Andrew Hore, pushing out Kieran Read, Brodie
Retallick and Keven Mealamu respectively.
Read is expected to
lead the side next week against Italy as Hansen gives McCaw a rest and
looks to a possible long-term successor as captain to the 113-Test
Props Owen Franks and Wyatt Crockett come into a
completely overhauled front row as the world champion All Blacks bid to
continue their unbeaten record against Scotland.
"We have had a
good build-up this week and the key for us has been to get our
preparation spot on so we can put in a performance on Sunday which we
are proud of," Hansen said in a statement.
"However, we know that the Scots will lift for this Test match and we expect them to be very combative."
Two uncapped players in hooker Dane Coles and scrumhalf Tawera
Kerr-Barlow have been named on an eight-man bench, with the new
International Rugby Board (IRB) rule now allowing an extra propping
Veteran All Blacks Nonu, prop Tony Woodcock and Ali Williams have been named on the bench.Teams:
15 Israel Dagg, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Ben Smith, 12 Tamati Ellison, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Richie McCaw (captain), 6 Adam Thomson, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Wyatt Crockett
Substitutes: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Tony Woodcock, 18 Ben Franks, 19 Ali Williams, 20 Sam Cane, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Ma'a Nonu
15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Sean Lamont, 13 Nick de Luca, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Greig Laidlaw, 9 Mike Blair, 8 Kelly Brown (captain), 7 Ross Rennie, 6 Alasdair Strokosch, 5 Jim Hamilton, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Geoff Cross, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Ryan Grant
Substitutes: 16 Scott Lawson, 17 Allan Jacobsen, 18 Kyle Traynor, 19 Alastair Kellock, 20 David Denton, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Ruaridh Jackson, 23 Max Evans