Two changes for All Blacks

Date published: September 26 2013

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has made two changes to his run-on side for Saturday's clash with Argentina in La Plata.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has made two changes to his run-on side for Saturday's clash with Argentina in La Plata.

Veteran hooker Andrew Hore replaces Dane Coles while fly-half Aaron Cruden comes in for Dan Carter who was injured in New Zealand's clash against South Africa in Auckland two weeks ago.

Cruden has been on the sidelines since injuring his knee in the tournament opener against the Wallabies in Sydney last month.

He has been promoted to the All Blacks' leadership group and Hansen believes he will thrive as one of the team's senior players.

“I think he's really enjoying knowing now he's really established in this team and he can play rugby that he wants to play at a certain standard at international level,” said Hansen.

There is still some doubt over Cruden's knee and with Beauden Barrett amongst the replacements Cruden could be taken off if the All Blacks manage to get an early lead.

“I haven't done a hell of a lot in the contact area so hopefully I'll get that into me over the next few days and I'll be really comfortable hopefully leading into the Test,” Cruden revealed.

Hore's selection is a bit of a surprise after Hansen had indicated that the 35-year-old's Test career was drawing to an end.

Fellow veteran, Keven Mealamu, is on the bench, which means the All Blacks have opted to rest youngster Dane Coles who put in a solid performance in the starting role against the Springboks two weeks ago.

His absence from the squad for the Test with los Pumas could mean that he is being kept fresh for what could be a tournament decider against South Africa in Johannesburg on October 5.

“He's a young guy and we are trying to manage his game time,” added Hansen.

“We've got two big games coming up so I think he will get some more game time.”

New Zealand: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Kevin Mealamu, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Jeremy Thrush, 20 Steven Luatua, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Charlie Piutau.

Date: Saturday, September 28
Venue: Estadio Ciudad de la Plata
Kick-off: 19:40 local (22:40 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper