All Blacks

Teams for Sydney Bledisloe

Teams for Sydney Bledisloe
Nice guns, wrong game

Nice guns, wrong game

Two talismen return to the Wallabies and All Black sides for Saturday’s clash in Sydney.

For Australia, it’s the long awaited return of Rocky Elsom, back from his much celebrated stint in Europe and ensuing bruised bone (always painful). This return alone will be fascinating to watch. Will we see him dominate proceedings like he did regularly for Leinster, or will he ‘go missing’ as some say he used to in a Wallaby shirt? He certainly hasn’t had a whole lot of gametime this season.

Making way for the Rock-star is Cliffy Palu, who can’t even find a place in the 22, as Richard Brown snaffles the No 8 spot. Perhaps he should have belted Skidmark (or just been in form). With Morty out, Adam “The Earl” Ashley-Cooper gets his shot at 13, Smith takes the captaincy, and James O’Connor starts at 15. Cross and Hynes hit the bench as backs cover in a 4-3 split.

With these selections Deans has once again picked on what he sees as potential, rather than safety. The conservative approach would have been the more experienced Cross at 13 and AAC at fullback. Similarly Palu’s size is hard to forgo, but form and an uptempo game plan has edged him out in favour of Brown.

dan-carterFor New Zealand the news of course is the return of the messiah, Dan Carter – another undercooked star returning from injury. This of course replaces Donald, but other heads have also rolled. The one dimensional Nonu has gone to the bench (dammit), replaced by McAlister, and Rodney So’aiolo joins him as a reserve making way for Kieran Read.

The Good Guys

The All Blacks

15. James O’Connor (Western Force)
14. Lachie Turner (NSW Waratahs)
13. Adam Ashley-Cooper (Brumbies)
12. Berrick Barnes (Queensland Reds)
11. Drew Mitchell (Western Force)
10. Matt Giteau (Western Force)
9. Luke Burgess (NSW Waratahs)
8. Richard Brown (Western Force)
7. George Smith (Brumbies, Captain)
6. Rocky Elsom (Brumbies)
5. Nathan Sharpe (Western Force)
4. James Horwill (Queensland Reds)
3. Al Baxter (NSW Waratahs)
2. Stephen Moore (Brumbies)
1. Benn Robinson (NSW Waratahs)

Run on reserves:
16. Tatafu Polota-Nau (NSW Waratahs)
17. Ben Alexander (Brumbies)
18. Dean Mumm (NSW Waratahs)
19. David Pocock (Western Force)
20. Will Genia (Queensland Reds)
21. Ryan Cross (Western Force)
22. Peter Hynes (Queensland Reds)

1. Tony Woodcock (55 Tests)
2. Andrew Hore (40)
3. Owen Franks (4)
4. Brad Thorn (30)
5. Isaac Ross (6)
6. Jerome Kaino (20)
7. Richie McCaw – captain (73)
8. Kieran Read (9)
9. Jimmy Cowan (25)
10. Dan Carter (59)
11. Sitiveni Sivivatu (37)
12. Luke McAlister (27)
13. Conrad Smith (28)
14. Josevata Rokocoko (57)
15. Mils Muliaina (74)

Reserves:
16. Aled de Malmanche (1)
17. John Afoa (17)
18. Jason Eaton (12)
19. Rodney So’oialo (58)
20. Brendon Leonard (11)
21. Stephen Donald (14)
22. Ma’a Nonu (39)

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