Blacks look to the Evans

Otago flyhalf Nick Evans will run out at Twickenham instead of Dan Carter when the All Blacks play England on Sunday.

This selection has been made in spite of the fact that Evans is still struggling with a hamstring injury. If he cannot play, Carter will resume his role as premier pivot.

Eight changes in all have been made to the side that lost their final Vodacom Tri-Nations game in Rustenburg. Mils Muliaina has moved back to fullback at the expense of veteran Doug Howlett, allowing Ma’a Nonu to come in at centre, while Rico Gear displaces Sitiveni Sivivatu. The halfback pairing is a new one, with Byron Kellerher joining Evans.

The back row sees a new combination with Reuben Thorne joining the two opensiders Richie McCaw and Chris Masoe, the latter packing down at No 8. Jerry Collins sits out of this fixture, while Rodney So’oialo drops to the bench.

Thorne should also provide further options in the line-out, which should be far more competitive with the inclusion of Waikato’s Keith Robinson and the prolific Chris Jack. Keven Mealamu is the only change to the front row that lost to the South Africans in September.

England: 15 Iain Balshaw; 14 Mark Cueto, 13 Jamie Noon, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Ben Cohen, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Shaun Perry, 8 Pat Sanderson, 7 Lewis Moody, 6 Martin Corry (c), 5 Ben Kay, 4 Danny Grewcock, 3 Julian White, 2 George Chuter, 1 Andrew Sheridan.
Replacements: 16 Lee Mears, 17 Stuart Turner, 18 Chris Jones, 19 Magnus Lund, 20 Peter Richards, 21 Andy Goode, 22 Mark van Gisbergen.

New Zealand: 15 Mils Muliaina, 14 Rico Gear, 13 Ma’a Nonu, 12 Aaron Mauger, 11 Joe Rokocoko, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Byron Kelleher, 8 Chris Masoe, 7 Richie McCaw (c), 6 Reuben Thorne, 5 Keith Robinson, 4 Chris Jack, 3 Carl Hayman, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Hore, 17 John Afoa, 18 Clarke Dermody, 19 Rodney So’oialo, 20 Andrew Ellis, 21 Dan Carter, 22 Sitiveni Sivivatu.