Mealamu to lead NZ against Scotland - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Mealamu to lead NZ against Scotland

04/11/2008 10:44:23 PM Comments (0)

All Blacks hooker Keven Mealamu will captain New Zealand for the first time against Scotland this Saturday at Murrayfield after coach Graham Henry unveiled a team showing 12 changes.

Regular captain Richie McCaw is now on the bench, as is star back and ace goalkicker Dan Carter, with only three survivors from the starting line-up that beat Australia in last weekend's Bledisloe Cup clash - fullback Isaia Toeava, outside-half Stephen Donald and lock Ali Williams retaining their places.

Mealamu, 29, who will be appearing in his 62nd Test this weekend, will become the 63rd All Blacks captain as he leads the team out for the opening leg of their Grand Slam tour of the British Isles.

He is the fourth player of Samoan heritage to captain the All Blacks in a Test, following Tana Umaga, Jerry Collins and Rodney So'oialo.

"Keven is one of the key players in the All Blacks and a strong leader and we congratulate him on reaching this significant milestone," said New Zealand coach Graham Henry.

The former Wales boss defended his selection on the grounds his team were playing Tests on five consecutive weekends, as well as a midweek fixture against Irish province Munster.

"This is a strong team with a mix of experienced players and new faces and we have picked the best team to win this Test match," Henry said.

Three players are set to make their Test debuts - Southland front-row forward Jamie Mackintosh, Waikato No 8 Liam Messam and Canterbury loose forward Kieran Read.

All three captained their provincial teams this year.

New Zealand and Scotland last met during the 2007 World Cup when the All Blacks beat a largely second-string Scottish side 40-0 at Murrayfield.

"We will not be taking the Scottish team lightly. They will be playing with passion and determination in front of a vocal Murrayfield so we are expecting a physical encounter," Henry added.

New Zealand (15-1)

Isaia Toeava; Anthony Tuitavake, Richard Kahui, Ma'a Nonu, Joe Rokocoko; Stephen Donald, Piri Weepu; Liam Messam, Adam Thomson, Kieran Read; Ali Williams, Anthony Boric; John Afoa, Keven Mealamu (capt), Jamie Mackintosh

Replacements: Corey Flynn, Neemia Tialata, Ross Filipo, Richie McCaw, Andy Ellis, Dan Carter, Cory Jane

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news