New Zealand v Australia: Teams

At Eden Park, Saturday August 25, kick-off 08.35 BST

Last updated: 23rd August 2012   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Quade Cooper Australia

Quade Cooper: Needed to provide spark for the Wallabies

Wyatt Crockett during a New Zealand All Blacks training session

Starting for New Zealand: Wyatt Crockett

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New Zealand have made one change for Saturday's Rugby Championship clash against Australia in Auckland.

Wyatt Crockett has been called into the starting line-up in place of Tony Woodcock after the prop suffered a rib injury in the All Blacks' 27-19 victory over the Wallabies last weekend.

It is the only change to Steve Hansen's match-day 22.

The last time Crockett represented his country was in the 30-14 win over Australia in Auckland 12 months ago.

The All Blacks will retain the Bledisloe Cup for a 10th successive year with victory at Eden Park - with a third match being played outside the Rugby Championship in October.

"Playing in front of our home crowd is always exciting for the All Blacks," Hansen said of the Eden Park clash, where they have not lost to the Wallabies since 1986.

"The fans are important to us and getting the opportunity to play a home Test is one we cherish.

"We are expecting that Australia will take a step up in their intensity after last weekend's loss and we will have to be ready for that challenge."

Beale dropped

Quade Cooper has returned as Australia's starting fly-half with full-back Kurtley Beale, who made several key mistakes in last week's defeat in Sydney, dropped from the starting XV.

Adam Ashley-Cooper moves to full-back and Drew Mitchell, returning from a long injury lay-off, has been named on the wing.

Berrick Barnes, who played in the number 10 jersey last weekend, shifts to inside centre at the expense of Anthony Faingaa.

Cooper was left out of the Wallabies' 22-man squad for the Sydney Test, the opening Rugby Championship series match. His last match against the All Blacks was a mistake-ridden effort in the Rugby World Cup semi-finals, also at Eden Park, last October.

The 24-year-old ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in the first half of the Wallabies' next match - the third-place play-off against Wales, won 21-18 by Australia. He required surgery that resulted in a seven-month layoff.

The Wallabies have not named their reserves bench, where Beale could be included.

Will Genia will captain Australia in place of the injured David Pocock and openside flanker Michael Hooper will replace Pocock at seven.

Brumbies prop Ben Alexander will start in place of the injured Sekope Kepu in the front row, despite not being in the 22 last week.

New Zealand: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Ma'a Nonu, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (c), 6 Liam Messam, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Hore, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Brodie Retallick, 19 Victor Vito, 20 Piri Weepu, 21 Aaron Cruden, 22 Ben Smith.

Australia: 15 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 14 Drew Mitchell, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Berrick Barnes, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia (c), 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Dave Dennis, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Sitaleki Timani, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Tatafu Polota Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements: tbc

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