Carter back for All Blacks

 Jun 19,2013
Written by: Editor

The All Blacks have made five changes to their team that will face France this Saturday, with Piri Weepu and Dan Carter reunited at half-back.

Weepu gets a start with Tawera Kerr-Barlow coming onto the bench. A fit-again Carter comes in for Aaron Cruden who is getting a rest.

Rene Ranger gets his first start of the series after two cameos off the bench, with Charles Piutau coming into the 23 to cover the outside backs.

In the forwards, Victor Vito comes off the bench to get his first start in 2013 allowing Matt Todd an opportunity to come onto the replacements bench. 

While the starting locks remain the same, Blues player Steven Luatua comes onto the bench to cover both lock and the number six position. 

Meanwhile, Dane Coles has suffered a calf strain and was unavailable for selection. He has been replaced in the starting XV by Andrew Hore with Keven Mealamu coming in as reserve hooker.

"While the Steinlager Series has been won, we certainly won't be underestimating the French in this final match. We have put a full stop in last weekend's performance and expecting further improvement from ourselves, and another hard, physical contest from the French," said All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen.

"However, we are committed to continue building the depth in our squad and introducing new players to Test match rugby, hence why we have selected the team we have."

New Zealand: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Rene Ranger, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Victor Vito, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Tony Woodcock, 18 Ben Franks, 19 Steven Luatua, 20 Matt Todd, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Charles Piutau.

Date: Saturday, June 22
Kick-off: 19:35 local (08:35 BST, 07:35 GMT)
Venue: Yarrow Stadium, New Plymouth
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Wayne Barnes (England), Alain Rolland (Ireland)
Television match official: George Ayoub (Australia)
Assessor: Donal Courtney 

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Tags: International |  France |  New Zealand | 

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