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All Blacks announce team to play England

allblacks.com     26 Nov 2008    

1. Tony Woodcock
2. Keven Mealamu
3. Neemia Tialata
4. Brad Thorn
5. Ali Williams
6. Jerome Kaino
7. Richie McCaw – captain
8. Rodney So’oialo
9. Jimmy Cowan
10. Dan Carter
11. Sitiveni Sivivatu
12. Ma’a Nonu
13. Conrad Smith
14. Josevata Rokocoko
15. Mils Muliaina

Reserves:

16. Hikawera Elliot
17. John Afoa
18. Anthony Boric
19. Kieran Read
20. Piri Weepu
21. Stephen Donald
22. Isaia Toeava

All Blacks Coach Graham Henry said it had been an incredibly special tour of Hong Kong, Ireland and the United Kingdom for the 2008 All Blacks and, after 14 Tests this year, the team was keen to end the tour – and the year – on a high.

“After England’s loss to South Africa on the weekend we know that the English will come out and throw everything at us. But the All Blacks are relishing the challenge and we are looking forward to the Test,” he said.

The Hillary Shield, the new rugby trophy honouring the late Sir Edmund Hillary, will be contested for the first time this weekend and Henry said it meant the match had added significance.

“Sir Edmund is a hero to all New Zealanders, including this All Blacks team, and the fact that we are playing for the Hillary Shield for the first time will give the Test an edge,” he said.

The All Blacks and England have played 31 times, with the last Test in June this year in Christchurch, with the All Blacks winning 44 – 12. The last time the teams met at Twickenham was in November 2006, with the All Blacks that day winning 41 – 20.