Henry keeps shuffling All Blacks - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Henry keeps shuffling All Blacks

By Alan Lorimer 23/11/2005 05:48:58 AM Comments (0)

New Zealand coach Graham Henry has made 13 changes to the side who beat England 23-19 in his lineup to play Scotland in Saturday's grand slam decider at Murrayfield but said it was no reserve team.

Captain Tana Umaga, who switches back to inside centre, and lock Chris Jack are the only players to retain their places in the team announced on Tuesday.

However, with openside flanker Richie McCaw and hooker Anton Oliver included after being ruled out of the England game through injury, Henry has ensured that there is a backbone of experience for the game which could clinch the All Blacks' second grand slam 27 years after the first.

"It's very important that we have Tana skippering the side for this match," said Henry, who wants his team not only to win, but to enjoy the occasion and the game.

"This is a very important occasion for the team. They will not get this opportunity again," he said.

Henry, however, is confident enough to be able to include uncapped 19-year-old full back Isaia Toeava, who has just one full NPC game for Auckland under his belt.

The International Rugby Board's Under-19 player of the year has already been compared to Fiji's Waisale Serevi and former All Black try-machine Christian Cullen.

"He is a player with huge potential," said Umaga, who added that he had seen him only in the New Zealand sevens side.

Henry used 30 different starters in the first two games of the tour against Wales and Ireland and has stayed true to his promise of using the trip to develop talent for the 2007 World Cup.

"We picked our third halfback and our third hooker on the bench," he said.

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