12 Aug 2011

Eight players rested by All Blacks coaches

3:05 pm on 12 August 2011

Several top players will be absent from the All Blacks team to face South Africa in their Tri-Nations test, including captain Richie McCaw and Daniel Carter.

Keven Mealamu will captain the 25-man squad for the match in Port Elizabeth next Sunday.

All Blacks coaches are resting eight players; Kieran Read, Mils Muliaina, Brad Thorn, Owen Franks, Conrad Smith and Sitiveni Sivivatu will sit out the match.

Otago lock Tom Donnelly is back in the camp as injury cover for Jarrad Hoeata, who hurt his right shoulder in Taranaki's win over Bay of Plenty on Tuesday. A decision on whether Hoeata is fit to travel to South Africa will be made after a scan on Friday.

Loosehead prop Tony Woodcock is set to pack down against a full-strength Springbok pack, despite just 40 minutes of provincial rugby following an injury break that lasted more than three months - mainly due to a chronic foot ligament problem.

Full squad

Forwards: John Afoa, Wyatt Crockett, Ben Franks, Jarrad Hoeata, Andrew Hore, Jerome Kaino, Keven Mealamu, Liam Messam, Adam Thomson, Samuel Whitelock, Ali Williams, Tony Woodcock and Victor Vito.

Backs: Jimmy Cowan, Israel Dagg, Andy Ellis, Hosea Gear, Zac Guildford, Richard Kahui, Cory Jane, Ma'a Nonu, Colin Slade, Isaia Toeava, Piri Weepu and Sonny Bill Williams.