McCaw returns for All Blacks to face France

Richie McCaw is back in the All Black starting line up

McCaw returns for All Blacks against France New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen has named his team to play France in the Rugby World Cup quarter final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

Hansen has recalled regular captain Richie McCaw who starts in his familiar 7 jersey along with lock Brodie Retallick and wing Julian Savea.

In all the All Black squad has an average age of 28 and has 1,295 Test caps of experience.

The squad also features call-up of specialist loosehead prop Joe Moody who only joined the squad earlier this week as a replacement for the injured Tony Woodcock.

Moody will play his ninth Test off the bench, after playing eight Tests in the black jersey in 2014.

With Moody on the bench, Wyatt Crockett takes over the starting loosehead duties from Woodcock. Meanwhile, All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw returns to the starting XV

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: “We’re exactly where we want to be – playing a quarterfinal at Millennium Stadium. It’s finals footy and we’re hugely excited by that. We’re a team that enjoys a challenge, we’ve had a great week’s preparation and it’s now about putting it out on the park.

“This team has always been about making its own history. We’ve known for a long time that this match-up may be a possibility and we’re really looking forward to it. There are not many better places to play than a packed Millennium Stadium.”

Hansen added,”All Blacks – French Tests are always intense affairs and we expect this weekend to be no different. The French will be very physical and both teams have plenty to play for. We’re at the time in the Tournament where the big boys have to step up to the plate and the team that does this the best will move through to the next round. It’s as simple as that. We can’t wait.”

New Zealand

1. Wyatt Crockett , 2. Dane Coles , 3. Owen Franks , 4. Brodie Retallick , 5. Samuel Whitelock , 6. Jerome Kaino , 7. Richie McCaw (c), 8. Kieran Read , 9. Aaron Smith , 10. Daniel Carter , 11. Julian Savea ,12. Ma’a Nonu , 13. Conrad Smith , 14. Nehe Milner-Skudder , 15. Ben Smith ,

Replacements : 16. Keven Mealamu, 17. Joe Moody, 18. Charlie Faumuina , 19. Victor Vito, 20. Sam Cane , 21. Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22. Beauden Barrett, 23. Sonny Bill Williams

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