18 Oct 2012

Mealamu to start in his 100th test

9:46 am on 18 October 2012

The All Blacks hooker Keven Mealamu will start in his 100th test on Saturday night - the third Bledisloe Cup clash with Australia in Brisbane.

Mealamu will join Richie McCaw and Mils Muliaina as All Black centurions.

The 33-year-old Mealamu has captained the All Blacks three times and made his All Blacks debut against Wales in 2002.

In the only other change to the starting side that beat South Africa in the final Rugby Championship match, prop Charlie Faumuina gets his first start with Owen Franks dropping to the bench.

Coach Steve Hansen says Mealamu is a hugely respected man, a key leader in the team and one of the true gentlemen of New Zealand rugby.