Australia v New Zealand - Bledisloe Cup match preview

Last updated: 20th October 2012  

Steve Hansen ABs coach RC 2012

Steve Hansen: Believes Australia are a dangerous animal

Robbie Deans Aus training RC 2012

Robbie Deans: Wants his Australia team to 'take the initiative'

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Australia coach Robbie Deans has called on his side to "take the initiative" when they face the all-conquering All Blacks on Saturday in Brisbane.

New Zealand arrive on the back of 16 straight Test wins, claiming the World Cup, the Bledisloe Cup and the Rugby Championship along the way.

And Deans, who has recalled Wycliff Palu, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Scott Higginbotham, Benn Robinson and James Slipper to his starting XV, admitted: "They've taken their game to another level, there's no doubt about that, as evidenced by the numbers. We've got to be better... and that's what we're chasing.

"At some point, to do well against them, you've got to take the initiative. You can't wait for it to land in your lap."

Despite his side's impressive run, New Zealand coach Steve Hansen - who missed the pre-match build up to be at the bedside of his seriously ill father - is taking nothing for granted.

The All Blacks' last defeat came against the Wallabies in Brisbane and Hansen admitted: "We've managed to beat them twice but last time we played them at Suncorp they beat us.

"They've got a record of 17 from 20 at Suncorp so that makes them a dangerous animal.

"They've been doing a lot of talking about what they are and what they are not going to do which I find interesting."

Keven Mealamu, who will become the third New Zealander to reach 100 Test caps, and debutant Charlie Faumuina are the only changes to the All Blacks line-up.

Australia: 15 Mike Harris, 14 Nick Cummins, 13 Ben Tapuai, 12 Pat McCabe, 11 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 10 Kurtley Beale, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Scott Higginbotham, 5 Nathan Sharpe (captain), 4 Sitaleki Timani, 3 James Slipper, 2 Tatafu Polota Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements: 16 James Hanson, 17 Sekope Kepu, 18 Kane Douglas, 19 Dave Dennis, 20 Liam Gill, 21 Brett Sheehan, 22 Drew Mitchell

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

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