Woodcock holds starting spot for ABs

Woodcock holds starting spot for ABs

Tony Woodcock will hold his starting position for this Saturday’s Bledisloe Cup decider between the All Blacks and Australia at Eden Park.

Woodcock, who started in last week’s opening Bledisloe Cup test in Sydney, will see two of his Blues teammates take the bench. Jerome Kaino has moved to the reserves and is joined there by Keven Mealamu.

The team is: (with Test caps in brackets)
1. Tony Woodcock (114)
2. Dane Coles (29)
3. Owen Franks (71)
4. Brodie Retallick (20)
5. Samuel Whitelock (65)
6. Victor Vito (27)
7. Richie McCaw – captain (141)
8. Kieran Read (76)
9. Aaron Smith (40)
10. Daniel Carter (105)
11. Julian Savea (34)
12. Ma’a Nonu (96)
13. Conrad Smith (87)
14. Nehe Milner-Skudder (1)
15. Ben Smith (40)

16. Keven Mealamu (125)
17. Wyatt Crockett (39)
18. Nepo Laulala (3)
19. Jerome Kaino (59)
20. Sam Cane (23)
21. TJ Perenara (14)
22. Colin Slade (19)
23. Malakai Fekitoa (10)

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: “This game is one of the best challenges we could have. We pride ourselves on our performance and last week’s wasn’t good enough, so we have been working hard at all areas of our game. We know we have to be smarter, more accurate and bring more intensity right across the park.

“It’s also our last Test match in New Zealand for the year, so it’s important that we deliver a performance that we can be proud of in front of our home fans.”
“Finally, I would also like to take this opportunity on behalf of myself and the All Blacks to publicly acknowledge Richie’s achievement in becoming the most capped Test player in the history of the game. His performances week in, week out in the black jersey have been nothing short of extraordinary.”

Kick-off will be at 7.35pm on Saturday, August 15 and will be shown live on Sky Sport 1.