All Blacks make one forced change
The All Blacks have made one forced change to their side to face the Wallabies in the second Bledisloe Cup rugby Test in Auckland on Saturday night.
Prop Tony Woodcock’s unavailability through injury has opened the way for Wyatt Crockett to return to the Test arena after a break of 12 months.
Woodcock suffered rib damage in New Zealand’s 27-19 win over Australia in Sydney last weekend in the opening round of the Rugby Championship and was ruled out on Tuesday.
While Woodcock has 87 caps, the 29-year-old Crockett, who made his debut in 2009, has six Test appearances.
The last of those was against the Wallabies at Eden Park last August, when New Zealand ran out 30-14 winners.
Coach Steve Hansen says the All Blacks were happy with the victory in Sydney last Saturday, but want an improved performance this week.
He expects the Wallabies to lift in intensity and the All Blacks will have to be ready to match that.
Meanwhile, squad members Charlie Faumuina, Tamati Ellison and Adam Thomson have been released to their respective provinces for this week’s opening round of the ITM Cup.
The All Blacks management are keen for the trio to get game time.
© AAP 2013
All Blacks: Israel Dagg, Cory Jane, Ma’a Nonu, Sonny Bill Williams, Hosea Gear, Dan Carter, Aaron Smith, Kieran Read, Richie McCaw (captain), Liam Messam, Sam Whitelock, Luke Romano, Owen Franks, Keven Mealamu, Wyatt Crockett.
Reserves: Andrew Hore, Ben Franks, Brodie Retallick, Victor Vito, Piri Weepu, Aaron Cruden, Ben Smith.
The Roar is giving you the chance to win 1 of 19 prize packs to Australian Open 2014! Each lucky winner will receive four evening tickets to Rod Laver Arena, plus access to 3 hours in the Heineken VIP Bar. Enter here.