All Blacks make 12 changes for Namibia clash

Sam Cane has replaced Richie McCaw as All Black captain

New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen has named a side with eleven changes and to be led by Sam Cane for their second Rugby World Cup 2015 pool match against
Namibia at the Olympic Stadium on Thursday.

Cane will be winning his 26th Test for the All Blacks and comes into the startingline up while Richie McCaw drops to the bench as the two exchange places.

The only survivors from the All Blacks openingt test match are wings Nehe Milner-Skudder and Julian Savea and lock Sam Whitelock.

Colin Slade starts at fullback with Malakai Fekitoa and Sonny Bill Williams making up the midfield. Hurricanes pair TJ Perenara and Beauden Barrett start
in the 9 and 10 shirts.

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: “It’s a very special moment for 23-year-old Sam Cane who will captain the All Blacks for the first time. He’s
in our leadership group, is hugely respected by everyone, is a fierce and fearless player and is someone who has the potential of being a long-term captain of
the All Blacks in the future.”

Hansen said it was also a fantastic opportunity for those players not selected for the opening Test to get game time.

“At the completion of this match, 30 of the 31 players in our squad will have experienced time in the middle of the park which will give us a good foundation
base going forward and which was always part of our planning pre-Tournament. It’s now their time to step up.

“Five of our team will also be playing their first Rugby World Cup match so it’ll be a significant moment for them and their families as well.”

Hansen added: “The Namibian players will be excited by it too and it will be a great occasion at The Stadium on Thursday.”

New Zealand

Colin Slade, Nehe Milner-Skudder, Malakai Fekitoa, Sonny Bill Williams, Julian Savea, Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara, Victor Vito, Sam Cane (captain), Liam Messam,
Sam Whitelock, Luke Romano, Charlie Faumuina, Codie Taylor, Ben Franks.

Replacements : Keven Mealamu, Wyatt Crockett, Tony Woodcock, Kieran Read, Richie McCaw, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Ma’a Nonu, Ben Smith.

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