Blacks change six
20 Jun 2012
New Zealand have made a half dozen alterations to their team to face Ireland in Hamilton, including the injury-enforced replacement of Dan Carter.
Aaron Cruden comes in at pivot for Carter who has a hamstring strain, with Hurricanes No. 10 Beauden Barrett providing cover on the bench. Elsewhere in the back division, Hosea Gear and Ben Smith start on the wings in place of Zac Guildford and Julian Savea who drop out of the squad altogether.
Lock Luke Romano to make his debut in place of Brodie Retallick in a revamped pack. Richie McCaw takes plays at No 8 in place of the concussed Kieran Read, with Liam Messam at blindside flank and Sam Cane on the openside. Adam Thomson plays off the wood, with utility back Tamati Ellison and veteran hooker Keven Mealamu beefing up the bench.
New Zealand – 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Richie McCaw (c), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Subs: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Brodie Retallick, 19 Adam Thomson, 20 Piri Weepu, 21 Beauden Barrett, 22 Tamati Ellison.