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AllBlacks team named for La Plata Test against Argentina

allblacks.com     27 Sep 2012    

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

Starting XV:

1. Tony Woodcock (89)
2. Andrew Hore (69)
3. Owen Franks (38)
4. Luke Romano (5)
5. Samuel Whitelock (32)
6. Liam Messam (14)
7. Richie McCaw - captain (110)
8. Kieran Read (42)
9. Aaron Smith (7)
10. Daniel Carter (89)
11. Julian Savea (4)
12. Ma'a Nonu (70)
13. Conrad Smith (60)
14. Cory Jane (35)
15. Israel Dagg (19)

Reserves:

16. Keven Mealamu (97)
17. Charlie Faumuina (2)
18. Brodie Retallick (7)
19. Sam Cane (2)
20. Piri Weepu (63)
21. Aaron Cruden (15)
22. Ben Smith (7)

All Blacks vice-captain Daniel Carter has returned to the starting XV, with the first five-eighth recovering from the calf injury that kept him out of the All Blacks last Test against South Africa 12 days ago. Aaron Smith is at halfback with Piri Weepu on the bench together with Aaron Cruden and Ben Smith. There is just one change to the forwards bench with loose forward Sam Cane making his first match day 22 appearance in the Investec Rugby Championship.

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: "We have huge respect for the Pumas, who have shown in the tournament just how good they are, and we are expecting even more from them this weekend as they are playing at home in front of their passionate fans."

"The team has really enjoyed the build-up in Buenos Aires and the culture that the country has to offer, but we know that it will be down to business on Saturday and the team are excited by that challenge," he added.

Interesting facts

The All Blacks have played Argentina in 15 Tests since 1985, with the last Test in Wellington earlier this month. The All Blacks have won 14 times with a 21-all draw in 1985.
Daniel Carter and Tony Woodcock will be playing their 90th Tests this weekend while Andrew Hore will play his 70th Test.
Richie McCaw will play in his 44th Tri Nations / Rugby Championship game - a record for a New Zealand player.

All Blacks Investec Rugby Championship match schedule

Australia (ANZ Stadium, Sydney, 8.00PM, Saturday 18 August). All Blacks 27 Australia 19.
Australia (Eden Park, Auckland, 7.35PM, Saturday 25 August). All Blacks 22 Australia 0.
Argentina (Westpac Stadium, Wellington, 7.35PM, Saturday 8 September). All Blacks 21 Argentina 5.
South Africa (Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, 7.35PM, Saturday 15 September). All Blacks 21 South Africa 11
Argentina (Estadio Ciudad de La Plata, La Plata, 8.10PM, Saturday 29 September)
South Africa (FNB Stadium 'Soccer City', Johannesburg, 5.00PM, Saturday 6 October)