Thursday, September 9, 2010

Turner in for Tri-Nations finale

Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney Date: Saturday 11 September KO: 1100 BST
Coverage: Latest scores on BBC Sport website; live coverage on Sky Sports 1

Lachie Turner
Turner will make his first start for Australia in place of Mitchell

Lachie Turner will replace the injured Drew Mitchell as the only change to the Australia XV for Saturday's final Tri-Nations match against New Zealand.

Mitchell misses the Sydney clash with a hamstring injury, while Saia Fainga'a is replaced on the bench by Huia Edmonds as he serves a suspension.

Aaron Cruden will make a first start as one of five changes for the Kiwis, who have already been crowned champions.

He joins Israel Dagg, Piri Weepu, Owen Granks and Victor Vito in the XV.

Fly-half Cruden, who has won five caps as a substitute, replaces Dan Carter, who is recovering from ankle surgery.

Dagg will start on the left wing in place of Joe Rokocoko, Weepu replaces Jimmy Cowan at scrum-half, Franks replaces brother Ben at tight-head prop and Vito replaces Jerome Kaino at blind-side flanker.

The All Blacks secured their seventh Tri-Nations crown in 10 years when they beat South Africa 29-22 in Johannesburg last month, but still have plenty to play for in the final match of the series.


Flanker Richie McCaw will captain the side for a national record 52nd time and the team are looking for a record 10th straight win over their neighbours.

If they manage to earn the victory, it would be their 15th consecutive win in all Tests, and they would become the first team to win all six matches in a Tri-Nations season.

In addition, they have already scored a record 20 tries this season and stand only 18 points short of their own record for a team in a Tri-Nations series, having scored 179 points in the 2006 series.

Still, Wallabies coach Robbie Deans insists Saturday's match is a good chance to finish off the season on a high after his side's victory in South Africa.

"We can't afford to continue to live in that moment," Deans said. "While the players are aware of the history that was associated with that performance, they are also aware of the significance of playing the All Blacks and the opportunity that they have in front of them this weekend.

"Hopefully we'll have a big crowd down at the stadium to get behind them."

Australia: Beale; O'Connor, Ashley-Cooper, Giteau, Turner; Cooper, Genia; Robinson, Moore, Ma'afu, Chisholm, Sharpe, Elsom, Pocock, McCalman.
Replacements: Edmonds, Slipper, Mumm, Brown, Burgess, Barnes, Fainga'a.

New Zealand: Muliaina; Jane, Smith, Nonu, Dagg; Cruden, Weepu; Woodcock, Mealamu, Franks, Donnelly, Thorn, Vito, McCaw, Read.
Replacements: Flynn, Afoa, Boric, Kaino, Cowan, Slade, Ranger.

Potenshöjande medel -

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