Nonu back, McCaw out

Ma’a Nonu will return to the starting lineup for his 100th Test appearance when the All Blacks take on Tonga at St James’ Park on Friday.

Nonu has overcome an injury niggle and will take up his place at inside centre in place of Sonny Bill Williams.

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen has again selected a powerful lineup after last Friday’s rusty showing against Georgia, although Richie McCaw will miss the clash as the result of a sore hip.

In McCaw's absence, the side will be captained by No 8 Kieran Read, with Sam Cane coming in on the flank.

Prop Charlie Faumuina was another player who missed selection due to a tight hamstring.

All Blacks – 15 Ben Smith, 14 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Waisake Naholo, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romana, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Subs: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Ben Franks, 19 Brodie Retallick, 20 Liam Messam, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Sonny Bill Williams.

Post by

Craig Lewis