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Thursday Aug 13, 2015

All Blacks and Wallabies make changes for Bledisloe Cup decider in Auckland

Both the All Blacks and the Wallabies have named their teams for this weekend’s Bledisloe Cup decider in Auckland. New Zealand have made just three changes, while Australia have brought in Quade Cooper and Matt Tomua, despite winning last weekend.

The All Blacks selectors have made just three changes to the starting XV which started last week’s opening Bledisloe Cup Test in Sydney. Ma’a Nonu returns for the injured Sonny Bill Williams, lock Samuel Whitelock comes in off the bench for Luke Romano, while Victor Vito comes in for Jerome Kaino, who moves to the bench.

The All Blacks side will again be captained by All Blacks captain Richie McCaw, who will break the world record for most Test matches this weekend in his 142nd Test.

The Wallabies meanwhile have made six changes to their starting XV, with playmakers Quade Cooper and Matt Toomua replacing Bernard Foley and Matt Giteau in the midfield, while Will Skelton switches with Dean Mumm to start the match with James Horwill in the second row.

Brumbies Nic White and Henry Speight alongside Waratahs number 8 Wycliff Palu have all been named in the run-on side for the first time in 2015. Kane Douglas will also play his first match for the Wallabies since 2013 from the bench, after returning from Ireland on a long-term contract with the Australian Rugby Union.

Eden Park, Auckland, Saturday 15 August 5:35pm (AEST) 7:35pm (local time) 07:35 GMT

Wallabies Team:
1. Scott Sio 2. Stephen Moore (C) 3. Sekope Kepu 4. Will Skelton 5. James Horwill 6. Scott Fardy 7. Michael Hooper, 8. Wycliff Palu 9. Nic White 10. Quade Cooper 11. Henry Speight 12. Matt Toomua 13. Tevita Kuridrani 14. Adam Ashley-Cooper,15. Israel Folau
Reserves: 16. Tatafu Polota-Nau 17. James Slipper 18. Greg Holmes 19. Dean Mumm 20. Kane Douglas 21. David Pocock 22. Matt Giteau 23. Kurtley Beale

All Blacks Team:
1. Tony Woodcock 2. Dane Coles 3. Owen Franks 4. Brodie Retallick 5. Samuel Whitelock 6. Victor Vito 7. Richie McCaw (C) 8. Kieran Read 9. Aaron Smith 10. Daniel Carter 11. Julian Savea 12. Ma’a Nonu 13. Conrad Smith 14. Nehe Milner-Skudder 15. Ben Smith
Reserves: 16. Keven Mealamu 17. Wyatt Crockett 18. Nepo Laulala 19. Jerome Kaino 20. Sam Cane  21. TJ Perenara 22. Colin Slade 23. Malakai Fekitoa

Key points of interest

  • The All Blacks and Australia have played each other 153 times, with the All Blacks winning 104 times and the Wallabies 42, with seven draws.
  • Daniel Carter will start his 88th Test match at first five eighths to equal the world record holder, Steven Jones of Wales. Carter also surpassed the 1,500 Test points milestone last weekend.
  • In last weekend’s Test, Nehe Milner-Skudder became the first All Black to score two tries on a Test debut against Australia since Bruce Watt in 1962.
  • The Wallabies are aiming to lift the Bledisloe Cup for the first time since 2002 when they claimed the Cup for the fifth time in a row.
  • Adam Ashley-Cooper has scored more tries against New Zealand (9) than any other
    player. He touched down in each of the last two meetings between the nations.
  • New Zealand was last defeated at Eden Park in July 1994. They drew their next game
    at the venue in August 1994 and since then have won 33 in a row in Auckland.
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