5 Sep 2013

Saili to make test debut, Carter returns

5:44 am on 5 September 2013

Daniel Carter makes his return to the All Blacks team this weekend against Argentina and centre Francis Saili will make his test debut at Waikato Stadium.

Carter had been expected to play in the opening match of the Rugby Championship in Sydney last month but the 31-year-old injured a calf muscle and also missed the return match in Wellington.

Beauden Barrett, who's also been out with a calf muscle strain, will be on the bench in Hamilton.

Carter's return to the side allowed coach Steve Hansen to give second five eighths Saili his first test cap, giving veteran midfielder Ma'a Nonu time to rest an ankle injury he sustained before the Rugby Championship.

Hansen says the 22-year-old's a very exciting player with a multi-talented skill set.

Prop Charlie Faumuina starts at prop, replacing the injured Owen Franks.

All Blacks starting XV: Israel Dagg, Ben Smith, Conrad Smith, Francis Saili, Julian Savea, Daniel Carter, Aaron Smith, Kieran Read, Richie McCaw (captain), Steven Luatua, Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick, Charlie Faumuina, Andrew Hore, Tony Woodcock

Replacements: Dane Coles, Wyatt Crockett, Ben Franks, Jeremy Thrush, Sam Cane, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Beauden Barrett, Charles Piutau