New faces for All Blacks

2010-06-08 09:06

Wellington - Props Ben and Owen Franks will be the first brothers in 13 years to play in an All Blacks team after being named for Saturday's one-off Test against Ireland at New Plymouth.

Crusaders prop Ben Franks was included among three new caps in the New Zealand starting line-up named on Tuesday, joining uncapped fullback Israel Dagg and rookie centre Benson Stanley.

Owen and Ben Franks become the first pair of brothers to play a Test for New Zealand since Zinzan and Robin Brooke faced England in 1997. They follow in the footsteps of other famous New Zealand rugby brothers including Colin and Stan Meads and Don and Ian Clarke.

Dagg, who turned 22 on Sunday, was named at fullback after the selectors decided to move the more experienced Cory Jane to the wing where he is paired with the recalled Joe Rokocoko. Rokocoko played the most recent of his 60 Tests against Australia in September last year.

Stanley, the Australian-born nephew of former All Blacks centre Joe Stanley, wins his first Test jumper as the only fit inside centre in the New Zealand squad after injuries to midfielders Ma'a Nonu, Richard Kahui and Isaia Toeava.

Ben Franks, 26, is named at loosehead prop in place of 61-Test veteran Tony Woodcock, who has been struggling for form. He and younger brother Owen, 22, will prop the New Zealand scrum on either side of hooker Keven Mealamu, who returns to the starting XV for his 73rd Test in the absence of Andrew Hore who has a shoulder injury.

A further three uncapped players have been named on the All Blacks reserve bench. Backrower Victor Vito, lock Sam Whitelock and flyhalf Aaron Cruden are all in line to make their Test debuts as substitutes.

"It's an exciting team that will play the Irish," All Blacks coach Graham Henry said.

"We have picked experienced All Blacks together with those players who have been in form throughout the Super 14 and deserve their opportunity at Test level. They know the Irish will be a huge challenge but they are looking forward to it."

Flanker Richie McCaw will captain New Zealand in his 81st Test, equaling former scrumhalf Justin Marshall as the third most-capped All Blacks. Only Sean Fitzpatrick with 92 Tests and Mils Muliaina with 82 have played more. 

New Zealand and Ireland have met on 22 occasions, with the All Blacks winning 21 times and drawing once.


New Zealand:

15. Israel Dagg, 14. Cory Jane, 13. Conrad Smith, 12. Benson Stanley, 11. Joe Rokocoko, 10. Daniel Carter, 9. Jimmy Cowan, 8. Kieran Read, 7. Richie McCaw (captain), 6. Jerome Kaino, 5. Anthony Boric, 4. Brad Thorn, 3. Owen Franks, 2. Keven Mealamu, 1. Ben Franks

Substitutes: 16. Aled de Malmanche, 17. Neemia Tialata, 18. Sam Whitelock, 19. Victor Vito, 20. Piri Weepu, 21. Aaron Cruden, 22. Zac Guildford


15. Robert Kearney, 14. Tommy Bowe, 13. Brian O'Driscoll (captain), 12. Gordon D'Arcy, 11. Andrew Trimble, 10. Ronan O'Gara, 9. Tomas O'Leary, 8. Jamie Heaslip, 7. David Wallace, 6. John Muldoon, 5. Mick O'Driscoll, 4. Donncha O'Callaghan, 3. John Hayes, 2. Sean Cronin, 1. Cian Healy

Substitutes: 16. John Fogarty, 17. Tony Buckley, 18. Dan Tuohy, 19. Shane Jennings, 20. Eoin Reddan, 21. Jonathan Sexton, 22. Geordan Murphy


  • Gaz - 2010-06-08 09:25

    Kiwi rugger is far from where it should be according to their standards. It will a very interesting game this Saturday. I reckon it's gonna be a close one. Even the ex Kiwi's are concerned. What a great day this Saturday will be 3 x thumper games - can't wait!

  • Joe - 2010-06-08 09:41

    I like Stanley, not flasy but solid. And Dagg is dangerous when he runs from deep. Would have preferred Adam thompson in the no7 jumper. Will watch this one !

  • BALSAK(alias Blue Bul Hater) - 2010-06-08 09:51

    Good AB team, but remember there is still no Mills, Sitivenu, Nonu, Chris Jack, Andrew Hore, So'oalo etc.. etc

  • David - 2010-06-08 12:11

    A very balanced squad from the clever Master Ted, Henry decided this time around to go with inform players and well done!! A pity John Afoa from the Blues didn't make the squad, same applies to So'oalo (a real yster). It is also the first time in many months that the All Blacks coaching staff do have the luxury of not scratching their heads over positions. Many players like Mills, Sitiveni, Nonu, Toeava, Hore, Ali Williams, Jason Eaton still injured. Would love to see how youngster Benson Stanley will go - was a real gem during the Super 14! On top, many other All Blacks did not even make the squad! Should be a good game of footy!

  • blackie - 2010-06-08 14:41

    balsak,you are on ALL the blogs,it's gonna be a hard ab team to beat anyhow,to make matters worse,they got "scores"to settle...super14 is not something that will feel good when they think about it,especially when it"s linked to the country "South africa" and even more so the refs

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