Bledisloe Cup: New Zealand wing Cory Jane returns to face Australia
Cory Jane has been selected to play for New Zealand in their Bledisloe Cup clash with Australia in Dunedin on Saturday.
Last Updated: 18/10/13 12:00am
The wing ruptured knee ligaments during pre-season training for his Super Rugby team Wellington Hurricanes team which meant he missed almost all of the New Zealand rugby season.
But Jane, who has 43 caps to his name, made his comeback for Wellington earlier this month to put himself in contention for selection by All Blacks coach Steve Hansen.
Jane's return and Conrad Smith's extended break from international rugby has allowed Hansen to move winger Ben Smith into centre and he admitted he was pleased to see his selection options boosted.
"It's great to have Cory Jane back," said Hansen. "He has been a world-class performer and we are looking forward to seeing him back in the black jersey.
"It's also exciting to have Ben Smith getting his first start at centre for the season."
Ben Smith has been in impressive form for New Zealand on the wing this season but Hansen is keen to test him in a more central role.
Conrad Smith was granted an extended break at the end of the Rugby Championship and will also miss the All Blacks' end-of-season tour to Japan and Europe and will not be available to Hansen until the home series against England in June 2014.
Jane's inclusion means Hansen has made three changes to the starting XV that beat South Africa 38-27 to secure the Rugby Championship.
Lock Jeremy Thrush replaces Brodie Retallick, while hooker Keven Mealamu makes his first start in the side since he faced England in New Zealand's 38-21 defeat at Twickenham in December 2012.
The All Blacks have already won the Bledisloe Cup after two earlier victories over the Wallabies in the Rugby Championship.
New Zealand: Dagg, Jane, B Smith, Nonu, Savea, Cruden, A Smith; Woodcock, Mealamu, Faumuina, Thrush, Whitelock, Messam, McCaw (captain), Read.
Replacements: Coles, Crockett, Franks, Retallick, Cane, Kerr-Barlow, Barrett, Taylor.