The All Black loosies will mix things up positionally in Saturday night's Tri-Nations opener against South Africa as the selectors experiment ahead of the World Cup.
Adam Thomson will start at No.8 for the first time in his 19th Test with Richie McCaw at 7 and Jerome Kaino on the blindside.
Coach Graham Henry says not too much should be read into the number on the back of their jerseys as they'll be playing different positions during the game, with McCaw playing No.8 on attack and Thomson playing there on defence.
Henry says with four loosies in the squad for a World Cup match, there may be no No.8 backup so it's important to have flexibility.
Thomson says he's suprised to be selected at number eight for Saturday night's against the Springboks in Wellington.
Thomson will start at the base of the scrum for the first time in his Test career with Richie McCaw at 7 and Jerome Kaino on the blindside as the coaches sift their options at number eight.
Thomson started in the number six jersey last weekend against Fiji, and wasn't expecting the change of position.
In the other changes to the side that beat Fiji, Sam Whitelock, Jerome Kaino, Dan Carter and Cory Jane all start.