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Messam back for New Zealand

11th September 2013 18:55

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Blindside: Liam Messam

Chiefs co-captain Liam Messam will start at blindside flanker for New Zealand when they face South Africa on Saturday.

Messam comes into the starting XV for Steven Luatua who drops to the replacements.

The other four changes for the All Blacks include the return of Ma'a Nonu at inside centre in place of Francis Saili, after recovering from an ankle injury.

Kieran Read will captain the team from number eight in the absence of Richie McCaw, who has been ruled out for a month with a knee injury.

With Sam Cane promoted to the number seven jersey in McCaw's absence, Matt Todd is named in his place on the bench.

The other changes come in the front row, where Owen Franks and Dane Coles start alongside Tony Woodcock. Andrew Hore, who started against Argentina, has dropped out of the matchday squad.

Hansen explained the selection of Messam over Luatua was down to the former's experience and physicality, two essential factors in the battle at the breakdown against the South African trio of Francois Louw, Willem Alberts and Duane Vermeulen.

"In selecting the team, there were some tough decisions to be made, none more so than between Liam and Steven," said Hansen.

"But in the end we have gone for Liam's extra experience and physicality.

"The physical challenge will be huge as it always it is and the team that executes their game with the greatest effectiveness, clarity and intensity will be the one that comes out on top."

New Zealand: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements:16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Steven Luatua, 20 Matt Todd, 21 Tawera Kerr Barlow, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Charles Piutau

Date: September 14
Venue: Eden Park Stadium, Auckland
Kick-off: 19:35 (07:35 GMT)
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant referees: Jérôme Garcès (France), Francisco Pastrana (Argentina)
Television match official: George Ayoub (Australia)
Assessor: Lyndon Bray

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