Team news New Zealand v Australia

Here are the teams for the Bledisloe Cup-Investec Tri Nations Test on Saturday 6 August at: Eden Park, Auckland 08:35 live on SkySports2.

Both teams are still without some star players, although Australia have kept the same XV who beat South Africa a fortnight ago. However, back in the 22 for the game is halfback Luke Burgess after a broken hand.

Graham Henry has made seven changes from last weeks All Blacks team that beat South Africa, they are: four forwards playing their first Tests of the year: Owen Franks replaces brother Ben at tighthead prop; Keven Mealamu is back at hooker; Brad Thorn is at lock alongside Ali Williams; and Kieran Read is at number eight. In the backs, Piri Weepu has been picked at halfback, making his first Test start since last year’s. Hosea Gear returns from his recent hamstring injury to start his first Test of the year on the left wing, while Sitiveni Sivivatu is on the right wing.

Graham Henry said: (quote) There is no doubt that the intensity levels will rise for this Test. It’s game one in a two–match Bledisloe Cup series involving the teams ranked number one and two in the world. It’s a hugely important Test and is going to be a massive challenge, but we are looking forward to that. (end quote)

TEAMS

New Zealand: 1.Wyatt Crockett, 2.Keven Mealamu, 3.Owen Franks, 4.Brad Thorn, 5.Ali Williams, 6.Jerome Kaino, 7.Richie McCaw (captain), 8.Kieran Read, 9.Piri Weepu, 10.Dan Carter, 11.Hosea Gear, 12.Ma’a Nonu, 13.Conrad Smith, 14.Sitiveni Sivivatu, 15.Mils Muliaina.
Reserves: 16.Andrew Hore, 17.Ben Franks, 18.Sam Whitelock, 19.Adam Thomson, 20.Andy Ellis, 21.Colin Slade, 22.Sonny Bill Williams.

Australia: 1.Sekope Kepu, 2.Stephen Moore, 3.Ben Alexander, 4.Rob Simmons, 5.James Horwill, 6.Rocky Elsom (captain), 7.David Pocock, 8.Ben McCalman, 9.Will Genia, 10.Quade Cooper, 11.Digby Ioane, 12.Pat McCabe, 13.Adam Ashley-Cooper, 14.James O’Connor, 15.Kurtley Beale.
Reserves: 16.Saia Fainga’a, 17.Pekahou Cowan, 18.Dan Vickerman, 19.Scott Higginbotham, 20.Luke Burgess, 21.Anthony Fainga’a, 22.Lachie Turner.

REFEREE: Craig Joubert