31 Jul 2008

Smith says Kahui's no stranger to the wing

4:20 pm on 31 July 2008

The All Black assistant coach Wayne Smith says Richard Kahui is no stranger to the wing, where he'll start against Australia in Auckland on Saturday night,

Kahui moves to the right wing in place of Mils Muliaina, who returns to fullback after Leon MacDonald's withdrawal yesterday.

Muliaina's move isn't surprising but his replacement was expected to be either Anthony Tuitavake or Rudi Wulf.

Smith says Kahui's been preferred as he was always the bench wing and has trained there all week, plus he offers more in the air than Tuitavake or Wulf, as he's taller than both of them.

Decisions at hooker and halfback will be confirmed tomorrow morning with the injuries to Andrew Hore's hip, Andy Ellis's ribs and Jimmy Cowan's knee being tested at training.

Captain Richie McCaw's ankle sprain will also be assessed to determine whether Adam Thomson or Daniel Braid is on the bench.