29 Oct 2009

Henry names top side to play Australia

7:46 am on 29 October 2009

The All Blacks will field their strongest line-up for Saturday's final Bledisloe Cup Test against Australia in Tokyo's Olympic Stadium.

For the opening match of northern hemisphere tours by both teams, the All Blacks team features the returns from injury of winger Sitiveni Sivivatu and centre Conrad Smith, and Rodney So'oialo regains his place at number eight, replacing Kieran Read.

The All Blacks can't lose the Bledisloe Cup this year, but Graham Henry expects Saturday's Test to have a real edge to it. And after naming his team, Henry admitted the news yesterday of the relegation of the Wallabies flanker George Smith had caught the All Blacks off guard.

The full starting fifteen is Mils Muliaina, Cory Jane, Conrad Smith, Ma'a Nonu, Sitiveni Sivivatu, Dan Carter, Jimmy Cowan, Rodney So'oialo, Richie McCaw (captain), Adam Thomson, Tom Donnelly, Brad Thorn, Neemia Tialata, Andrew Hore, Tony Woodcock.