Richie McCaw is back to captain the All Blacks against the Wallabies

All Blacks Coach Graham Henry and his Assistant Coaches Steve Hansen and Wayne Smith have named the All Blacks team to play Australia in the final Investec Tri Nations Test at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, on Saturday 27 August.

The side includes ten of the starting XV who featured in the 30–14 victory over the Wallabies in Auckland earlier this month, with Richie McCaw returning to captain the side in his 98th Test.

Owen Franks returns to the front row alongside prop Tony Woodcock and hooker Keven Mealamu who started last week’s Test against South Africa. Brad Thorn is back at lock together with Sam Whitelock, who was in last week’s run–on team, while in the loose forwards, Adam Thomson is at blindside flanker, McCaw is at openside and Kieran Read is at number eight.

In the backs, Piri Weepu gets the nod at halfback, Daniel Carter is again in the 10 jersey, the All Blacks most capped midfield Ma’a Nonu and Conrad Smith are reunited, with Nonu also joining Walter Little as the most capped All Blacks second five–eighth (45). Zac Guildford and Cory Jane will start on the wings, with Mils Muliaina at fullback.

All Blacks Coach Graham Henry said:  “This is a tournament–defining match for the team.  The winner wins the Investec Tri Nations, it’s as simple as that.   Australia are a dangerous team to play and they will be looking to bounce back from the loss against us in Auckland, so we will have to play at our very best. It’s going to be a massive Test match.”

The All Blacks and Wallabies have played each other 141 times, with 96 wins to the All Blacks, 40 to Australia and five draws.  The last Test at Suncorp Stadium was in 2008 when the All Blacks beat the Wallabies 28–24.

Starting XV:
1.         Tony Woodcock (75)
2.         Keven Mealamu (85)
3.         Owen Franks (23)
4.         Brad Thorn (51)
5.         Samuel Whitelock (17)
6.         Adam Thomson (21)
7.         Richie McCaw – captain (97)
8.         Kieran Read (31)
9.         Piri Weepu (48)
10.       Daniel Carter (81)
11.       Zac Guildford (6)
12.       Ma’a Nonu (59)
13.       Conrad Smith (48)
14.       Cory Jane (24)
15.       Mils Muliaina (97)

Reserves:
16.       Andrew Hore (54)
17.       John Afoa (33)
18.       Ali Williams (65)
19.       Victor Vito (7)
20.       Andy Ellis (20)
21.       Colin Slade (5)
22.       Isaia Toeava (31)

Number of Test caps in brackets

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