All Blacks name squad for Australia clash

New Zealand coach, Graham Henry has named his side that will take on Australia at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.

The two sides are locked together at the top of the Tri-Nations table, with South Africa some way behind them in third.

Whoever comes out on top will undoubtedly take it as a massive confidence boost going into the World Cup which New Zealand are hosting.

Ten members of the side that beat the Wallabies 30-14 earlier this month have been included in Henry’s side ahead of the All Blacks Rugby World Cup squad being named.

Richie McCaw will return to the side as captain, which means he will be making his 98th test appearance for the All Blacks.

Owen Franks comes into the front row, alongside prop Tony Woodcock and hooker Kevin Mealamu who both started against South Africa last week.

Brad Thorn and Sam Whitelock will both be involved, as will Kieran Read and Adam Thompson in forward positions.

Piri Weepu will be amongst the backs, while Daniel Carter will continue to wear the number ten shirt.

Henry knows the importance of the match, both in the All Blacks bid to win the Tri Nations, as well as getting practice in ahead of the World Cup.

He 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.”

Meanwhile, New Zealand Rugby are mourning the loss of one of the games finest and most renowned broadcasters.

Graham Moody, known affectionately as ‘Moods’, passed away on Wednesday, following a tragic surfing accident in Australia.

NZRU CEO, Steve Tew said: “Moods has been a stalwart on our airwaves for many years and his voice has become synonymous with rugby in this country.

“He will be sorely missed.”

New Zealand travel to Queensland to take on Australia in the Tri Nations on Saturday, at the Suncorp Stadium.

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