McCaw back to lead reshuffled All Blacks - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

McCaw back to lead reshuffled All Blacks

29/07/2008 01:00:10 PM Comments (0)

Captain Richie McCaw is to return to lead the All Blacks in their crucial Bledisloe Cup/Tri-Nations rugby match against Australia on Eden Park at Auckland on Saturday.

McCaw, sidelined since injuring an ankle in the June 21st Test against England in Christchurch, has watched the All Blacks win one and lose two Tri-Nations series matches.

But he was on Tuesday named to return to the openside flanker position in place of Daniel Braid who is bracketed with Adam Thomson in the reserves.

After a 19-34 defeat to Australia in Sydney last Saturday, coach Graham Henry has three other changes to his side and two positional swaps in the loose forwards.

Stand-in skipper Rodney So'oialo returns to No.8 in a switch with Jerome Kaino who moves to No.6.

Leon MacDonald comes in at fullback with Mils Muliaina shifting to wing in place of Anthony Tuitavake.

Conrad Smith returns at centre with Richard Kahui dropping to the reserves.

At halfback, recalled Hurricane Piri Weepu is bracketed alongside the injured Jimmy Cowan (knee) and Andrew Ellis (ribs).

Andrew Hore, who has a bruised hip, and Keven Mealamu are bracketed at hooker.

A decision on the starting halfback and hooker will be made on Thursday.

New Zealand: Leon MacDonald, Mils Muliaina, Conrad Smith, Ma'a Nonu, Sitiveni Sivivatu, Dan Carter, Jimmy Cowan/Piri Weepu/Andrew Ellis, Rodney So'oialo, Richie McCaw (capt), Jerome Kaino, Ali Williams, Brad Thorn, Greg Somerville, Andrew Hore/Keven Mealamu, Tony Woodcock. Res: Hore/Mealumu, John Afoa, Anthony Boric, Adam Thomson/Daniel Braid, Cowan/Weepu/Ellis, Stephen Donald, Richard Kahui.

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