15 Jul 2009

All Blacks team named for Saturday for tri nations

8:13 am on 15 July 2009

Stephen Donald will start at first five eighth for the All Blacks opening tri-nations clash with the Wallabies in Auckland on Saturday.

Donald gets the nod ahead of Luke McAlister.

Joe Rokocoko has been dropped to the bench with Sitiveni Sivivatu returning to the wing following an injury break... Cory Jane is on the other wing.

All Blacks coach Graham Henry says with Isaia Toeava the only squad member unavailable because of injury, they were in the fortunate position of being able to make some real selection choices at key positions.

It is a team with a huge amount of experience with 500 caps in the starting 15.

Henry says they're pleased with the way that Stephen Donald has developed since making his debut last year, he played well under difficult circumstances in the two French Tests this year and they believe that he is the right man for this Test match.

Richie McCaw, who returns to the All Blacks starting 15 together with Rodney So'oialo and Sitiveni Sivivatu, will captain the All Blacks in his 71st Test and 200th first-class game.

The full team is Tony Woodcock,Andrew Hore, Neemia Tialata, BradThorn, Isaac Ross, Jerome Kaino, Richie McCaw, Rodney So'oialo, Jimmy Cowan, Donald, Sivivatu, Maa Nonu, Condrad Smith, Corey Jane and Mils Muliaina.

On the bench is Keven Mealamu Owen Franks Jason Eaton Kieran Read Piri Weepu, Luke McAlister, Rokocoko