All Blacks latest – Henry makes mass changes

Keo.co.za brings you news from the All Blacks’ camp.

Henry makes mass changes – As expected, All Blacks coach Graham Henry has decided to give a number of fringe players and others returning from injury an opportunity in Saturday’s Test against the Springboks.

Tony Woodcock is back in the front row after a lengthy injury lay-off, while John Afoa is reinstated at tighthead prop having recovered from an eye socket injury sustained earlier in the Tri-Nations tournament. Others back from injury include Richard Kahui, Isaia Toeava and Israel Dagg.

Adam Thomson steps in at openside flank for Richie McCaw, while Liam Messam is handed another opportunity to impress at No 8. Sonny Bill Williams gets his first start in a Tri-Nations match, while Colin Slade will also be looking to prove a point at pivot.

Keven Mealamu will captain the side in McCaw’s absence.

All Blacks -15 Israel Dagg, 14 Isaia Toeava, 13 Richard Kahui, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Liam Messam, 7 Adam Thomson, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Ali Williams, 4 Sam Whitelock, 3 John Afoa, 2 Keven Mealamu (c), 1 Tony Woodcock.
Subs: 16 Andrew Hore, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Jarrad Hoeata, 19 Victor Vito, 20 Andy Ellis, 21 Piri Weepu, 22 Cory Jane.