SBW starts for second string All Blacks against USA

New Zealand All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen has named his team to play the
United States at Soldier Field in Chicago will Sonny Bill Williams returning
to the starting line up.

Hansen has named a team that is almost a second string team which will be captained
by Kieran Read while Richie McCaw is rested. Read will be winning his 70th All
Black cap.

All Blacks star flyhalf Dan Carter returns to the team after missing the Rugby
Championship with a broken leg but through the replacements as Aaron Cruden
gets the starting place with TJ Perenara at halfback.

In all there are 12 changes to the starting 15 who played against Australia
two weeks ago in the Bledisloe Cup clash.

The starting backline features the experienced duo of Israel Dagg at fullback
and Cory Jane on the right wing, with Charles Piutau on the left wing.

Sonny Bill Williams returns to the All Blacks midfield for his first game since
August 2012, starting in the 12 jersey alongside Ryan Crotty at centre.

In the forwards, Sam Cane starts at openside flanker with Victor Vito on the
blindside; Jeremy Thrush and Patrick Tuipulotu are the locking duo in the second

In the front row, hooker Nathan Harris gets his first Test start after coming
off the bench against Argentina last month; Joe Moody also gets his second Test
start at loosehead prop, with Charlie Faumuina at tighthead.

Young Counties Manukau and Chiefs halfback Augustine Pulu has the opportunity
to make his Test debut from the bench on Saturday, while All Blacks Test centurion
and world rugby’s leading points scorer, first five-eighth Daniel Carter also
makes his return from injury from the bench. Wing Julian Savea has also been
named as the outside back cover.

In the forwards reserves, the All Blacks have the experienced 120-Test veteran
Keven Mealamu to call on, together with his fellow front rowers Wyatt Crockett
and Ben Franks.

Brodie Retallick is the reserve lock, with Liam Messam reserve loose forward.

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said, “This is going to be an exciting
occasion for the team, playing the USA in front of a record crowd here in Chicago,
and it’s great to be here representing the All Blacks and New Zealand.

“It’s another chance for those selected to pull on the jersey and play
well. On this MyRepublic Northern Tour, we want to give all players in the squad
the opportunity to grow their game – and we also want to develop our game as
a team – and it starts on Saturday.

“While we are giving a number of players another opportunity this weekend,
our expectation is that they will play to the highest level and we get a quality

The All Blacks have played the US three times, most recently at the 1991 Rugby
World Cup in Gloucester when the All Blacks won 46-6.

The teams also played in 1980 in San Diego, California, and in 1913 in Berkeley,

New Zealand

Israel Dagg, Cory Jane, Ryan Crotty, Sonny Bill Williams, Charles Piutau,
Aaron Cruden, TJ Perenara, Kieran Read (captain), Sam Cane, Victor Vito, Patrick
Tuipulotu, Jeremy Thrush, Charlie Faumuina, Nathan Harris, Joe Moody.

Replacements: Keven Mealamu, Wyatt Crockett, Ben Franks, Brodie Retallick,
Liam Messam, Augustine Pulu, Dan Carter, Julian Savea.

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