Wellington - The All Blacks recalled star flyhalf Dan Carter and code-hopping
star Sonny Bill Williams Thursday but dropped captain Richie McCaw in a
makeshift matchday squad to face the United States in Chicago.
record points-scorer Carter, who has been out with a broken leg, was
named among the reserves as Aaron Cruden gets his chance at fly-half
following his exile over a drinking incident.
They were among 12
changes to the 15 who started against Australia two weeks ago as coach
Steve Hansen's world champions face the 18th-ranked Americans at Soldier
Field, home of the Chicago Bears NFL team.
Only fullback Israel
Dagg, wing Cory Jane and stand-in captain Kieran Read survive in a
team consisting largely of fringe players and reserves.
said he wanted to use all 34 players in his squad for the tour, which
also includes Tests against England, Wales and Scotland.
are giving a number of players another opportunity this weekend, our
expectation is that they will play to the highest level and we get a
quality performance," he said.
Williams was named in the centres
alongside Ryan Crotty as he returns to the fold ahead of next year's
World Cup, after spending two years playing rugby league in Australia.
starts at flyhalf ahead of Carter on the bench, ending his exile after
he got drunk and missed the team plane to Argentina last month.
presence gives the sell-out 61 500 crowd the chance to see one of rugby
union's most marketable, but injury-prone, players. He has not played
for his country since breaking his leg in the Super 15 final in August.
the forwards, Joe Moody, Nathan Harris, Charlie Faumuina, Jeremy Thrush
and Patrick Tuipulotu were all given a run, while Victor Vito returns
TJ Perenara starts at scrumhalf, though promising
youngster Augustine Pulu has the chance to win his debut Test cap from
McCaw was given a rest ahead of what are likely to be more demanding fixtures later in the tour.
Hansen said the Test would take place in front of the largest rugby union crowd ever seen in the United States.
is going to be an exciting occasion for the team, playing the USA in
front of a record crowd here in Chicago, and it's great to be here
representing the All Blacks and New Zealand," he said.
United States: TBA
New Zealand: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Charles Piutau, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Victor Vito, 5 Patrick Tuipulotu, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Joe Moody.
Substitutes: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Ben Franks, 19 Brodie Retallick, 20 Liam Messam, 21 Augustine Pulu, 22 Daniel Carter, 23 Julian Savea