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Crotty starts as NZ change three

20th August 2014 18:05

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At 12: Ryan Crotty

Crusaders centre Ryan Crotty will make his first start for New Zealand at inside centre against Australia at Eden Park on Saturday.

Cory Jane will win his 50th cap for the All Blacks on the right wing, while Conrad Smith returns at outside centre.

In other changes to the squad, loose forward Liam Messam has been named at six, replacing the injured Jerome Kaino, and prop Charlie Faumuina is back from illness, taking his spot on the reserves bench.

"While we were disappointed with the draw last weekend, we are excited by the opportunity that presents itself this weekend," said All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen.

"It's another Test match against Australia, the chance to win the Bledisloe Cup and the first home Test of the Investec Rugby Championship in front of our home fans.

"We have been working hard on all aspects of our game this week and there's a definite resolve to improve the quality of our performance on Saturday."

New Zealand: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (c), 6 Liam Messam, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Wyatt Crockett
Replacements: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Steven Luatua, 20 Sam Cane, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Malakai Fekitoa

Date: Saturday, August 23
Kick-off: 19:35 local (08:35 BST, 07:35 GMT)
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Referee: Romain Poite
Assistant Referees: Jaco Peyper, Stuart Berry
TMO: Shaun Veldsman

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