28 Jul 2011

Four changes to All Blacks starting XV

7:34 am on 28 July 2011

The All Blacks selectors have made four changes from last week's starting XV against Fiji for Saturday's opening Tri-Nations Test against the Springboks in Wellington.

The forward pack named to tackle the Springboks features the returns of lock Sam Whitelock, blindside flanker Jerome Kaino, and Adam Thomson at number eight.

Daniel Carter returns at first five, and the wings are Cory Jane and Zac Guildford.

Jane is named on the right wing after recovering from his finger injury, with Guildford moving to the left wing.

Last week's Test debutant Jarrad Hoeata moves onto the bench with Liam Messam and there's no room at all for Sitiveni Sivivatu this week in the backs. Colin Slade also moves into the reserves, while the key change on the bench is the selection of midfielder Sonny Bill Williams - replacing Ben Smith in the number 22 jersey.

South Africa name their team later today.

All Blacks: (Test caps in brackets)

1. Wyatt Crockett (4)

2. Andrew Hore (51)

3. Ben Franks (8)

4. Samuel Whitelock (14)

5. Ali Williams (62)

6. Jerome Kaino (38)

7. Richie McCaw - captain (95)

8. Adam Thomson (18)

9. Jimmy Cowan (45)

10. Daniel Carter (80)

11. Zac Guildford (5)

12. Ma'a Nonu (57)

13. Conrad Smith (46)

14. Cory Jane (22)

15. Mils Muliaina (95)


16. Corey Flynn (13)

17. John Afoa (31)

18. Jarrad Hoeata (1)

19. Liam Messam (7)

20. Piri Weepu (45)

21. Colin Slade (2)

22. Sonny Bill Williams (4)