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Thursday Aug 6, 2015

Nehe Milner-Skudder starts on the wing for All Blacks vs Wallabies

Hurricanes flyer Nehe Milner-Skudder will make his Test debut when the All Blacks take on the Wallabies in the Rugby Championship decider in Sydney on Saturday night. The 24-year-old hotstepper will make his debut on the right wing. 

Milner-Skudder is one of a number of changes to the All Blacks side which beat South Africa in Johannesburg. Julian Savea is back on the left wing and will play his first Test of 2015, with Ben Smith moving to fullback. 

Sonny Bill Williams is at 12, while Daniel Carter is back at ten for his 105th Test match. 

In the run-on forward pack, Jerome Kaino comes in at blindside flanker while Luke Romano comes in at lock. There are just two changes to the bench, with Nepo Laulala providing tighthead prop cover and Sam Cane coming in to cover the loose forwards.

With three All Blacks centurions amongst them, the All Blacks starting XV boasts 868 Test caps experience with a further 183 on the bench, with an average age of 27.

Richie McCaw will this weekend equal Brian O’Driscoll’s world record of 141 international Test appearances. Interestingly, McCaw’s 140 Tests include just 14 losses (exactly ten percent).

Saturday 8 August 2015, Sydney, KO: 20:05 (local time) 10:05 GMT, 11:05 BST

New Zealand XV: 1. Tony Woodcock (113) 2. Dane Coles (28) 3. Owen Franks (70) 4. Brodie Retallick (39) 5. Luke Romano (19) 6. Jerome Kaino (58) 7. Richie McCaw – captain (140) 8. Kieran Read (75) 9. Aaron Smith (39) 10. Daniel Carter (104) 11. Julian Savea (33) 12. Sonny Bill Williams (25) 13. Conrad Smith (86) 14. Nehe Milner-Skudder 15. Ben Smith (39) Reserves: 16. Codie Taylor (2) 17. Ben Franks (42) 18. Nepo Laulala (2) 19. Samuel Whitelock (64) 20. Sam Cane (22) 21. TJ Perenara (13) 22. Beauden Barrett (29) 23. Malakai Fekitoa (9)

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