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All Blacks Announce Team To Play France

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
All Blacks Announce Team To Play France

9 June 2009 - Ross to make debut as Muliaina becomes 64th Test captain

All Blacks Coach Graham Henry and his Assistant Coaches Steve Hansen and Wayne Smith have named their team to play the opening Iveco Series Test against France at Carisbrook, Dunedin this Saturday, 13 June, with Isaac Ross to make his Test debut and Mils Muliaina to become the 64th Test captain.

1. Tony Woodcock 2. Andrew Hore 3. Neemia Tialata 4. Brad Thorn 5. Isaac Ross 6. Kieran Read 7. Adam Thomson 8. Liam Messam 9. Jimmy Cowan 10. Stephen Donald 11. Rudi Wulf 12. Ma'a Nonu 13. Isaia Toeava 14. Josevata Rokocoko 15. Mils Muliaina - captain

Reserves:

16. Keven Mealamu 17. John Afoa 18. Bryn Evans 19. Tanerau Latimer 20. Piri Weepu 21. Luke McAlister 22. Cory Jane

24-year-old Isaac Ross will become All Black number 1088 when he makes his Test debut and joins his Crusaders teammate Brad Thorn in the second row, while 24-year-old Hawke's Bay lock Bryn Evans and 23-year-old Bay of Plenty loose forward Tanerau Latimer also look set to make their Test debuts off the bench.

Prop Tony Woodcock will play his 50th Test for the All Blacks and together with Andrew Hore and Neemia Tialata forms an experienced front row. Otago's Adam Thomson will play on his home ground of Carisbrook at openside flanker, with fellow 2008 All Blacks debutants Kieran Read at blindside flanker and Liam Messam at number eight.

In the backline, Jimmy Cowan starts at halfback, with Stephen Donald getting his third Test start in the number 10 jersey. Ma'a Nonu and Isaia Toeava form a powerful midfield, with Josevata Rokocoko and Rudi Wulf on the wings. Captain Mils Muliaina, at fullback, becomes the 64th All Blacks Test captain in his 69th Test.

"We will be facing a very experienced, strong French side while the All Blacks squad will be a good mixture of experienced players and others who are relatively new to the All Blacks. So this first Iveco Series Test is going to be a huge challenge for the team and is shaping up to be another classic All Blacks-France Test match," All Blacks Coach Graham Henry said.

The All Blacks will be playing their 445th Test and their 47th against France, with the Dave Gallaher Cup again on the line. The Test match is close to selling out with just over 500 tickets available. Tickets are available from www.ticketdirect.co.nz or 0800 4 TICKET.

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