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All Blacks Name Team For Test Against France

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

All Blacks Coach Graham Henry and his Assistant Coaches Steve Hansen and Wayne Smith have today named the team to play France at Stade Velodrome, Marseille, on Saturday 28 November, in the fifth Test of the All Blacks Telecom Northern Tour.

1. Tony Woodcock (60 Tests) 2. Andrew Hore (46) 3. Neemia Tialata (40) 4. Brad Thorn (36) 5. Tom Donnelly (5) 6. Jerome Kaino (24) 7. Richie McCaw (79, captain) 8. Kieran Read (15) 9. Jimmy Cowan (32) 10. Dan Carter (65) 11. Sitiveni Sivivatu (42) 12. Ma'a Nonu (45) 13. Conrad Smith (32) 14. Cory Jane (11) 15. Mils Muliaina (81)

Reserves:

16. Corey Flynn (6) 17. Owen Franks (8) 18. Anthony Boric (12) 19. Tanerau Latimer (4) 20. Andy Ellis (13) 21. Stephen Donald (18) 22. Luke McAlister (29) The team features three changes to the starting XV which defeated England 19-6 at Twickenham last weekend, with 40-Test prop Neemia Tialata coming in for Owen Franks, who moves to the bench; blindside flanker Jerome Kaino, who was on the bench last weekend, replaces Adam Thomson; and Zac Guildford is replaced on the right wing by Cory Jane.

Also on the reserves bench, Corey Flynn takes his place as reserve hooker after recovering fully from last week's hamstring strain, Tanerau Latimer comes in as loose forwards reserve, with Luke McAlister joining Andy Ellis and Stephen Donald in the back reserves.

All Blacks Coach Graham Henry said: "The French will be a passionate, physical side who are undefeated at home in their November Tests so it will be another huge Test for the All Blacks. The team is looking forward to the challenge."

It's a milestone weekend for fullback Mils Muliaina who becomes outright second most capped All Black of all time in his 82nd Test, while captain Richie McCaw plays his 80th Test, becoming the fourth most capped All Black of all time. The All Blacks Test record of 92 is held by former All Blacks hooker and current rugby commentator Sean Fitzpatrick (1986 - 1997).

Meanwhile, Daniel Carter, who overtook Andrew Mehrtens' All Blacks points-scoring record of 967 against England, will be looking to take another record off his former teammate this weekend - Carter and Mehrtens have both scored a record 92 points against France.

The All Blacks will again be playing for the Dave Gallaher trophy, which France won in the Iveco Series in New Zealand in June. The trophy was introduced in 2000 and commemorates Dave Gallaher, who was captain of the famous 1905-06 "Originals" All Blacks and later died in battle at Passchendaele in 1917.

The All Blacks have played France 48 times since 1906 with 35 wins to New Zealand, 12 to France and one draw. They have played France twice this year, with France winning 27-22 in Dunedin in June this year and the All Blacks winning 14-10 in Wellington the following week. The All Blacks have played France in Marseille once before, in November 2000, losing 33-42 at Stade Velodrome.

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