Captain Richie McCaw and flyhalf Dan Carter will start in a full strength All Blacks line-up this Saturday in Cardiff.
McCaw resumes the captaincy and Carter displaces Aaron Cruden in the all-important pivot position. Coach Steve Hansen has also reinstated key players like fullback Israel Dagg, the centre combination of Ma’a Nonu and Conrad Smith, hooker Andrew Hore, and prop Owen Franks for this clash against Wales.
Liam Messam is retained at blindside flank as Adam Thomson has not been considered. The IRB is currently appealing the ruling that saw Thomson suspended for just one match. The feeling is that Thomson deserved harsher punishment for a stamping offence in the All Blacks’ tour match against Scotland.
Wing Julian Savea will start his third straight Test on this tour. Savea is the only New Zealand player to start in all three matches.
All Blacks – 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (c), 6 Liam Messam, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Subs: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Brodie Retallick, 20 Victor Vito, 21 Piri Weepu, 22 Aaron Cruden, 23 Ben Smith.