22 Sep 2011

All Black team named to play France

7:58 am on 22 September 2011

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw and playmaker Dan Carter have recovered from minor injuries and will return to the side to play France in this Saturday's key Rugby World Cup pool match in Auckland.

There's two other changes to the team which beat Japan last week.

Israel Dagg has recovered from his injury and been named at fullback and Piri Weepu will start at halfback with Andy Ellis on the bench.

All Blacks Coach Graham Henry says while there is intense interest in the game because of past Rugby World Cups, the focus for the team is simple in that they will have to match the physicality of the French.

Henry says the French often play their very best rugby against the All Blacks and they can never be underestimated.

The team is.... 15-Israel Dagg, 14-Cory Jane, 13-Conrad Smith, 12-Ma'a Nonu, 11-Richard Kahui, 10-Daniel Carter, 9-Piri Weepu, 8-Adam Thomson, 7-Richie McCaw (captain), 6-Jerome Kaino, 5-Sam Whitelock, 4-Brad Thorn, 3-Owen Franks, 2-Keven Mealamu, 1-Tony Woodcock

Replacements: 16-Andrew Hore, 17-Ben Franks, 18-Ali Williams, 19-Anthony Boric, 20-Andy Ellis, 21-Colin Slade, 22-Sonny Bill Williams