Bledisloe Cup: New Zealand v Australia match preview

Last updated: 19th October 2013   Subscribe to RSS Feed

KIERAN READ AUSTRALIA V NEW ZEALAND RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP

Kieran Read (L): Will take on the captaincy in the absence of Richie McCaw

Steve Hansen ABs coach 2013

Steve Hansen: Insists injuries will not affect his side against Australia

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New Zealand coach Steve Hansen insists it will be "business as usual" against Australia on Saturday despite the loss of Richie McCaw and Cory Jane.

McCaw and Jane have been ruled out of the Dunedin encounter, which is the third clash in this year's Bledisloe Cup, due to injury.

Skipper McCaw is replaced at flanker by Sam Cane and Auckland youngster Charles Piutau comes in for his first Test start on the right wing. Kieran Read assumes the captaincy once again.

"We've got to the stage now where it's just business as usual," Hansen said of the injury-enforced changes.

"If someone gets injured then the expectation is everyone's been preparing to play anyway, people come in, and we're confident. There's a lot of trust within the group in each other, and that's no different this week.

Preparation

"We've just got to do what we've been doing all week - prepare to play the Aussies, and play well."

New Zealand have already wrapped up the Bledisloe Cup series but the Wallabies' mauled Argentina 54-17 last time out and Australia boss Ewen McKenzie has urged his side to believe they can cause an upset.

"You're not going to beat them if you don't think you can, there's no way," McKenzie said.

"If you create a mental phobia for yourself you're not going to get anywhere so I approach every Test with optimism and people might say bullish but you have to be."

McKenzie will hand a Test debut to Peter Betham. With Joe Tomane, Chris Feauai-Sautia and Nick Cummins all ruled out through injury, Betham gets his chance to impress on the wing.

Centre Matt Toomua and No 8 Ben McCalman also come into the side.

New Zealand: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Charles Piutau, 13 Ben Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tony Woodcock.

Replacements: 16. Dane Coles, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Ben Franks, 19 Brodie Retallick, 20 Steven Luatua, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Tom Taylor.

Australia: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Peter Betham, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Ben Mowen, 5 James Horwill (captain), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 James Slipper.

Replacements: 16 Saia Fainga'a, 17 Benn Robinson, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Sitaleki Timani, 20 Dave Dennis, 21 Nic White, 22 Mike Harris, 23 Bernard Foley.

You can watch New Zealand v Australia live on Sky Sports 4 HD from 7.25am on Saturday.

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