All Blacks stay the same

 Jun 13,2013
Written by: Editor

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen has named an unchanged starting XV for his side's second Test against France in Christchurch.

Kieran Read continues to captain the side from number eight on what will be his 50th Test, but it's among the replacements where Hansen has made changes to his personnel.

Veterans Tony Woodcock and Piri Weepu are both named on the bench after having returned from injury, replacing Ben Afeaki and Tawera Kerr-Barlow.

There is no space for Rene Ranger amongst the starting XV, despite impressing off the bench in the first Test in what Hansen described as an "ugly" win.

"Clearly, there has also been a lot of work done on how we are going to approach the breakdown and I'm sure we will see an improvement there," said Hansen.

"Overall, we have had a good week's preparation. It's now about putting that preparation and hard work into a performance on the track that we can all be proud of.

"The French, however, may have their own ideas about that and one pleasing aspect from last week's test is that we have been left with no uncertainty just how tough this weekend's test will be.

"They have laid down the challenge to us that we will have to be at our very best to beat them."

New Zealand: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Tony Woodcock, 18 Ben Franks, 19 Jeremy Thrush, 20 Victor Vito, 21 Piri Weepu, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Rene Ranger.

Date: Saturday, June 15
Venue: AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Kick-off: 19.35 07.35 (GMT)
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Wayne Barnes (England), tba (Australia)
Television match official: George Ayoub (Australia)
Assessor: Lyndon Bray

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Tags: International |  New Zealand | 

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