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Thursday, October 21, 1999 Published at 19:11 GMT 20:11 UK


All Blacks at full strength for Scots

Jonah Lomu: He has recovered from a stomach bug

Favourites New Zealand have reverted to the line-up that beat England two weeks ago for their World Cup quarter-final clash with Scotland at Murrayfield on Sunday.

Tana Umaga, Christian Cullen, Alama Ieremia Andrew Mehrtens and Justin Marshall all return to the backs after resting for the All Blacks' 101-3 demolition of Italy.

Jonah Lomu has also been passed fit after suffering from a stomach bug midweek, while Jeff Wilson retains his fullback place.

'Really good shape'

In the forwards, Kees Meeuws replaces Greg Feek on the bench, while Josh Kronfeld, Reuben Thorne, Robin Brooke, Norm Maxwell, Anton Oliver and Carl Hoeft all return to duty in the starting line-up.

Either Ian Jones or Royce Willis will take up the final bench place, pending a decision by New Zealand's management.

The All Blacks are in the unusual position of having a fully-fit 30-man squad to select from after their unbeaten run in Group B.

Coach John Hart said: "We're in really good shape, everyone is fit and the camp is happy with the way things are going."

The squad has just returned from a short beach break in France, which is more than can be said for their opponents.

Scotland beat Samoa 35-20 in a bruising quarter-final play-off on Wednesday to set up the clash with New Zealand.

They have yet to announce their side, but they are suffering midfield problems after centre John Leslie was ruled out of the World Cup with an ankle injury.

His centre partner Alan Tait was relegated to the bench for the match, which the All Blacks watched.

Flanker Budge Pountney is likely to be fit after requiring stitches in an eye injury sustained against Samoa.

Team

Jeff Wilson; Tana Umaga, Christian Cullen, Alama Ieremia, Jonah Lomu; Andrew Mehrtens, Justin Marshall; Taine Randell (capt), Josh Kronfeld, Reuben Thorne, Robin Brooke, Norm Maxwell, Craig Dowd, Anton Oliver, Carl Hoeft

Replacements: Daryl Gibson, Tony Brown, Byron Kelleher, Andrew Blowers, Royce Willis, Ian Jones, Kees Meeuws, Mark Hammett



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