ABs name new centres

 Nov 09,2012
Written by: Editor

New Zealand have named Highlanders team-mates Tamati Ellison and Ben Smith as their centre combination for Sunday's Test against Scotland at Murrayfield.

The All Blacks have named a strong side for the opening match on their European tour, with a total of 556 caps in the starting XV and an additional 267 caps of experience on the bench.

Another highlight is the inclusion of the two new caps, 25-year-old hooker Dane Coles and 22-year-old scrum-half Tawera Kerr-Barlow amongst the replacements.

In the starting XV, prop Wyatt Crockett gets his eighth Test start for the All Blacks and is alongside hooker Andrew Hore and prop Owen Franks in the front row.  Luke Romano and Samuel Whitelock are in the second row while in the loose forwards, Adam Thomson is at blindside flanker, Victor Vito makes his third Test start at number eight, while the side will again be captained by Richie McCaw in his familiar seven jersey.

In the backs, Piri Weepu has been picked at scrum-half, vice-captain Daniel Carter is at fly-half. In the outside backs, Julian Savea and Cory Jane are the wings with Israel Dagg at fullback.

An eight-man reserves bench has been named, with the All Blacks and other international teams trialling the new International Rugby Board (IRB) law amendment which allows an extra front rower on the bench.

"The team is excited about kicking off our Tour in Scotland in front of a packed house at Murrayfield," said All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen.

"We have had a good build-up this week and the key for us has been to get our preparation spot on so we can put in a performance on Sunday which we are proud of.  However, we know that the Scots will lift for this Test match and we expect them to be very combative."

The All Blacks have played Scotland 28 times since 1905, with 26 wins to the All Blacks and two draws - in 1964 and 1983.  The teams last played in 2010 at Murrayfield on the All Blacks Northern Hemisphere Tour, with the All Blacks winning 49-3 on that occasion.

New Zealand: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Ben Smith, 12 Tamati Ellison, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Richie McCaw (c), 6 Adam Thomson, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Wyatt Crockett
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Tony Woodcock, 18 Ben Franks, 19 Ali Williams, 20 Sam Cane, 21 Tawera Kerr Barlow, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Ma'a Nonu.

Date: Sunday, November 11
Kick-off: 14:30 GMT
Venue: Murrayfield
Referee: Jerome Garces (France)
Assistant referees: Pascal Gauzere (France) and Simon McDowell (Ireland)
Television match official:Graham Hughes (England)


Tags: International |  New Zealand | 

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