21 Aug 2014

Three changes to All Blacks

2:41 pm on 21 August 2014

Liam Messam, Ryan Crotty and Conrad Smith all come into the All Blacks starting lineup for Saturday's second Rugby Championship-Bledisloe Cup clash with Australia at Eden Park.

Messam replaces the injured Jerome Kaino, Crotty replaces the injured Ma'a Nonu and Smith returns after the birth of his first child.

All Blacks flanker Liam Messam

All Blacks flanker Liam Messam Photo: PHOTOSPORT

It will be his first All Blacks start for Crotty.

Ryan Crotty is tackled by Australia's Israel Folau in 2013.

Ryan Crotty is tackled by Australia's Israel Folau in 2013. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Charlie Faumuina is back from illness to take a spot on the reserves bench.

Malakai Fekitoa drops to the bench.

Wing Cory Jane will play his 50th Test.

Coach Steve Hansen says while they're disappointed with the draw last weekend, they're excited by the opportunity that presents itself this weekend - the chance to win the Bledisloe Cup.

He says they've been working hard on all aspects of their game this week and there's a definite resolve to improve the quality of their performance on Saturday.

On the injury front, Hansen confirmed that Nonu had suffered deep shoulder bruising but is expected to be available for selection for the Test against Argentina in Napier in two weeks, while Kaino has an injured elbow, which is expected to keep him out of rugby for four to six weeks.

The Wallabies have named an unchanged lineup.

The team is: (Test caps in brackets)

Starting XV:

1. Wyatt Crockett (28)

2. Dane Coles (19)

3. Owen Franks (58)

4. Brodie Retallick (28)

5. Samuel Whitelock (55)

6. Liam Messam (32)

7. Richie McCaw - captain (128)

8. Kieran Read (63)

9. Aaron Smith (30)

10. Aaron Cruden (33)

11. Julian Savea (23)

12. Ryan Crotty (7)

13. Conrad Smith (78)

14. Cory Jane (49)

15. Ben Smith (30)


16. Keven Mealamu (114)

17. Ben Franks (32)

18. Charlie Faumuina (20)

19. Steven Luatua (12)

20. Sam Cane (15)

21. TJ Perenara (4)

22. Beauden Barrett (20)

23. Malakai Fekitoa (3)