The All Blacks team to play Scotland this weekend in their third November Test is out, with a debut for Blues hooker James Parsons.
The All Blacks team to play Scotland this weekend in their third November Test is out, with a debut for Blues hooker James Parsons capping off a whirlwind call-up by being named in the starting XV.
Two of the locks, Brodie Retallick (shoulder) and Patrick Tuipulotu (shoulder), were not considered for selection, due to injury. As a result, lock Dominic Bird, who, like Parsons, was called into the All Blacks as injury cover, will start, with Luke Romano coming off the bench. Loose forward Jerome Kaino (knee) was also not considered for selection.
The matchday 23 for Saturday features 11 players from the 23 which played England last week, with only two remaining in the starting XV and both in different positions than at Twickenham.
Ben Smith moves to full-back with Colin Slade on the wing, while skipper Richie McCaw will clock up a new first in his stellar career: he is making his first Test start in the number six jersey, to make way for Sam Cane at openside flanker.
Joining Smith and Slade in the back three is Charles Piutau, while there is a new midfield combination, with Ryan Crotty at 12 and Malakai Fekitoa at 13.
Daniel Carter makes his first Test start of the year at fly-half in his 102nd Test, with TJ Perenara at half-back.
In the forwards, Victor Vito is at number eight alongside McCaw and Cane in the back row. Bird will play his second Test at lock alongside Jeremy Thrush, while the new front row will see Joe Moody and Charlie Faumuina prop alongside Parsons.
On the bench, the forward reserves are hooker Dane Coles, props Ben Franks and Wyatt Crockett, Romano and loose forward Liam Messam, while the back reserves are half-back Augustine Pulu, midfielder Sonny Bill Williams and winger Julian Savea.
“We have had a good week’s preparation so far, there is a spring in the step of the team and real excitement looking forward to the Scottish Test,” said All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen,
“We have a lot of respect for the Scots and, like all Northern Hemisphere teams, know that they will bring a lot of physicality to the park. However, we also expect them to want to move the ball, particularly from any turnovers or free kicks. That style certainly suited them last week and makes them, we believe, even more dangerous.
“Though we have made changes to our team, there is an expectation that those who fill the jersey will deliver quality performances.”
New Zealand: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Colin Slade, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Charles Piutau, 10 Dan Carter, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Richie McCaw (c), 5 Dominic Bird, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 James Parsons, 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Ben Franks, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Liam Messam, 21 Augustine Pulu, 22 Sonny Bill Williams, 23 Julian Savea.
Date: Saturday, November 15
Venue: Murrayfield, Edinburgh
Kickoff: 17:30 local (GMT)
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant Referees: Johnny Lacey (Ireland), Stuart Berry (South Africa)
TMO: Gareth Simmonds (Wales)