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Nonu, SBW in All Black midfield

2012-08-15 20:14

Wellington - Centre Ma'a Nonu replaces the injured Conrad Smith in New Zealand's team to play Australia in the opening Rugby Championship Test in Sydney on Saturday, the New Zealand Rugby Union said on Thursday.

Nonu will partner Sonny Bill Williams in the centres, outside scrumhalf Aaron Smith and fit-again flyhalf Dan Carter.

Lock Luke Romano plays his second Test alongside Sam Whitelock with Kieran Reed at No 8 and captain Richie McCaw and Liam Messam the two flankers.

"Saturday's Bledisloe Cup contest brings two challenges," New Zealand coach Steve Hansen said.

"The first is our opponents who we clearly respect. But just as important is the second challenge, which is about us being better than we were before.

"The expectation this All Blacks team has is that it will strive to achieve these goals, both individually and collectively as a team."

Teams:

Australia:
15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Anthony Fainga'a, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Berrick Barnes, 9 Will Genia, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 David Pocock (captain) 6 Dave Dennis, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Sitaleki Timani, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota Nau, 1 Benn Robinson

Substitutes: 16 Stephen Moore, 17 James Slipper, 18 Rob Simmons, 19 Radike Samo, 20 Michael Hooper, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Drew Mitchell

New Zealand: 15-Isreal Dagg, 14-Cory Jane, 13-Ma'a Nonu, 12-Sonny Bill Williams, 11-Hosea Gear, 10-Dan Carter, 9-Aaron Smith; 8-Kieran Reed, 7-Richie McCaw, 6-Liam Messam, 5-Sam Whitelock, 4-Luke Romano, 3-Owen Franks, 2-Keven Mealamu, 1-Tony Woodcock.

Substitutes: 16-Andrew Hore, 17-Ben Franks, 18-Brodie Retallick, 19-Victor Vito, 20-Piri Weepu, 21-Aaron Cruden, 22-Ben Smith

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