McCaw back to lead ABs against France

8:04 am on 16 October 2015

Richie McCaw has been recalled to lead the All Blacks against France in Sunday morning's World Cup quarter-final blockbuster at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

Richie McCaw of the All Blacks passes during training session at Swansea University on October 13, 2015.

Richie McCaw of the All Blacks passes during training session at Swansea University on October 13, 2015. Photo: Getty Images

With France having upset the All Blacks at the 1999 and 2007 World Cups, Hansen has selected an experienced side that includes four World Players of the Year - skipper McCaw, Dan Carter, Brodie Retallick and Kieran Read.

Lock Retallick's return should also provide a noticeable boost to the New Zealand side.

McCaw was rested from the final pool game against Tonga because of a sore hip, but returns at openside flanker to win his 146th cap, and Sam Cane drops to the bench.

Julian Savea returns on the left wing, while Nehe Milner-Skudder has secured the right wing spot ahead of Waisake Naholo.

Fullback Ben Smith completes a potent back three.

Ma'a Nonu and Conrad Smith are again the starting midfield combination with Sonny Bill Williams on the bench for the rematch of the 2011 final, and Tawera Kerr-Barlow is the backup halfback to Aaron Smith.

Canterbury prop Joe Moody has gone from the provincial rugby playoffs to the world quarter-finals after being named in the matchday 23.

The loosehead only arrived in the United Kingdom four days ago, after being called up as an injury replacement for Tony Woodcock, and will come off the bench behind Wyatt Crockett.

Hansen said Moody's ability as a specialist gave him the edge over Ben Franks.

France have called up Morgan Parra and dropped Mathieu Bastareaud to the bench among three changes to their side to play the All Blacks in Sunday morning's game.

Coach Philippe Saint-Andre has handed starts to Parra, centre Alexandre Dumoulin and South Africa-born flanker Bernard Le Roux.

It will be only the third time Parra has played inside Frederic Michalak, who will retain the kicking duties.

Captain Thierry Dusautoir in the back row is one of four survivors of the starting team that lost 8-7 to the All Blacks in the 2011 World Cup final.

Starting XV

1. Wyatt Crockett (44)

2. Dane Coles (33)

3. Owen Franks (75)

4. Brodie Retallick (44)

5. Samuel Whitelock (70)

6. Jerome Kaino (64)

7. Richie McCaw (145) - captain

8. Kieran Read (81)

9. Aaron Smith (44)

10. Daniel Carter (109)

11. Julian Savea (38)

12. Ma'a Nonu (100)

13. Conrad Smith (91)

14. Nehe Milner-Skudder (5)

15. Ben Smith (45)


16. Keven Mealamu (129)

17. Joe Moody (8)

18. Charlie Faumuina (30)

19. Victor Vito (31)

20. Sam Cane (28)

21. Tawera Kerr-Barlow (18)

22. Beauden Barrett (33)

23. Sonny Bill Williams (30)

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