McCaw out injured, 100-up for Nonu

2015-10-07 13:35
Richie McCaw (Gallo Images)

Newcastle - New Zealand will be without injured captain Richie McCaw against Tonga in their last Pool C match at the Rugby World Cup on Friday, but selected an otherwise strong line-up that included Ma'a Nonu for his 100th Test appearance.

McCaw has a sore hip, having hobbled off during the 43-10 win over Georgia with what he said were shin and quad injuries. Prop Charlie Faumuina (hamstring) is the only other unavailable player.

Seeking some momentum to take into the quarter-finals, New Zealand coach Steve Hansen retained Dan Carter at flyhalf despite his disappointing display against Georgia.

Props Tony Woodcock and Owen Franks are recalled, Luke Romano replaces Brodie Retallick at lock, and Sam Cane takes over from McCaw at openside.

Nonu, who will become the sixth New Zealander to play 100 Tests, and wing Nehe Milner-Skudder are changes in the backline.

"We've had a very heavy workload in the last two weeks on the training pitch and a couple of very physical games ... but this week we've been looking to freshen the group up and really concentrate on the key parts of our game," Hansen said. "We're now getting to an exciting part of the competition - one game out from knockout footy.

"We know the Tongans will be very physical and bring everything to this pool match. One only has to remember their last pool match against France in 2011 to know that if you don't turn up, they will make life difficult for you."


New Zealand

15 Ben Smith, 14 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Waisake Naholo, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Tony Woodcock

Substitutes: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Ben Franks, 19 Brodie Retallick, 20 Liam Messam, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Sonny Bill Williams


15 Vungakoto Lilo, 14 Telusa Veainu, 13 Siale Piutau, 12 Latiume Fosita, 11 Fetu'u Vainikolo, 10 Kurt Morath, 9 Sonatane Takulua, 8 Viliami Ma'afu, 7 Nili Latu (captain), 6 Sione Kalamafoni, 5 Joseph Tuineau, 4 Tukulua Lokotui, 3 Halani Aulika, 2 Elvis Taione, 1 Soane Tonga'uiha

Replacements: 16 Paula Ngauamo, 17 Sona Taumalolo, 18 Sila Puafisi, 19 Sitiveni Mafi, 20 Jack Ram, 21 Samisoni Fisilau, 22 Viliami Tahitua, 23 Will Helu

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