All Blacks set to experiment

2013-10-29 15:37
Steve Hansen (Gallo Images)

Tokyo - World champions New Zealand will test some new combinations in Saturday's rugby union Test against Japan in Tokyo in preparation for the sterner fixtures awaiting them in Europe during the November internationals.

The All Blacks, unbeaten in 10 Tests this year, will play the 2011 World Cup finalists France on November 9 followed by matches against England and Ireland.

Nine players are flying directly to Paris to prepare for the France match but fans at the 25 000-seat Prince Chichibunomiya Stadium in Tokyo will still have the opportunity to see two of New Zealand's greatest ever players in action.

Coach Steve Hansen told reporters last week that captain Richie McCaw would play at least 40 minutes at loose forward while flyhalf Dan Carter would also take the field.

Both players have been troubled by injuries this year as they set their sights on the 2015 World Cup in England.

Saturday's match will be the first between the two sides outside the World Cup after the All Blacks defeated Japan 83-7 two years ago and 145-17 in 1995.

Japan recorded a famous 23-8 win over Wales this year and assistant All Blacks coach Ian Foster said his side expected the home side to come out fighting.

"We respect what they do and will have to do well to beat them," he told reporters after the All Blacks' first training session.

"We have got a lot of new combinations so the focus today was on cementing running lines and improving the options."

Ben Smith, who scored a record eight tries in the Rugby Championship this year, will play again at outside centre in place of Conrad Smith, who is taking a sabbatical from rugby.

"I am learning as I go and have got a wee bit to pick up," Smith said.

"The win over Wales showed Japan are a pretty good team.

"We will have to be on our game this weekend and will have to get our preparation right to play well."

Read more on:    all blacks  |  steve hansen  |  ben smith  |  rugby

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee remains defiant, saying he won't resign despite a shambolic two years at the helm. Your thoughts?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.