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September 13, 2012

All Blacks named for Springboks in Dunedin - Round Four of The Rugby Championship

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All Blacks named for Springboks in Dunedin - Round Four of The Rugby Championship

By SANZAR News Service and allblacks.com

The All Blacks team to play South Africa in The Rugby Championship match at Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, on Saturday 15 September has been named.

The team is as follows: (with Test caps in brackets)

Starting XV:

1. Tony Woodcock (88)
2. Andrew Hore (68)
3. Owen Franks (37)
4. Luke Romano (4)
5. Samuel Whitelock (31)
6. Liam Messam (13)
7. Richie McCaw – captain (109)
8. Kieran Read (41)
9. Piri Weepu (62)
10. Aaron Cruden (13)
11. Julian Savea (3)
12. Ma’a Nonu (69)
13. Conrad Smith (59)
14. Cory Jane (34)
15. Israel Dagg (18)

Reserves:

16. Keven Mealamu (96)
17. Charlie Faumuina (1)
18. Brodie Retallick (6)
19. Victor Vito (15)
20. Aaron Smith (6)
21. Beauden Barrett (2)
22. Tamati Ellison (2)

The squad features an interchange of several starting XV and bench roles from last week. In the forwards, hooker Andrew Hore gets a start in the number two jersey with Keven Mealamu on the bench; Samuel Whitelock swaps with Brodie Retallick and Liam Messam starts ahead of Victor Vito.

In the backs, halfback Piri Weepu gets his first start of the year, with Aaron Smith on the bench; while Tamati Ellison comes onto the bench replacing Ben Smith.

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: “We are all looking forward to the challenge that the Springboks will bring this weekend. They are an opponent that we have immense respect for, they are our traditional foe and there is great history between our two countries. It’s going to be a huge Test match. It is also the first All Blacks Test in Dunedin’s indoor stadium, which is exciting for the team.”

“At the halfway stage of the new Investec Rugby Championship we are very happy, from a results point of view. There is a second challenge we have set ourselves – to constantly improve our game – and in that regard we are not the finished product. However, the coaching staff and team leaders are reasonably happy with the progress we are making and Saturday gives us another opportunity to confront both challenges – our opponent and ourselves,” Hansen added.