Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
watch listen BBC Sport BBC Sport
Low graphics|Help
Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 November 2006, 14:39 GMT
All Blacks omit Mauger for France
Ma'a Nonu in action for New Zealand against France last weekend
Nonu is usually an outside centre
New Zealand coach Graham Henry has omitted Aaron Mauger from his "best team" to face France on Saturday with Ma'a Nonu starting at inside centre.

Mauger's exclusion, despite a strong display in the opening win of their four-Test tour over England, sees Nonu paired with Mils Muliaina in midfield.

Leon MacDonald starts at full-back with Sitiveni Sivivatu edging out Rico Gear for a wing spot alongside Joe Rokocoko.

Ali Williams gets the nod at lock alongside the experienced Chris Jack.

"Based on form, this is our best team right now, although that can change week to week," said Henry.

"Ma'a has been selected on form, Leon was very good at full-back on Saturday (in a 47-3 rout of France in Lyon) and Mils has been exceptional at centre for the All Blacks before. We wanted them all in the side."

A lot of quality players have not been selected

Graham Henry
Nonu, normally an outside centre, will wear the number 12 jersey for the All Blacks for the first time, although he has played there for his provincial side the Hurricanes.

"He gets the opportunity of being number one at 12 which I think is his best position," Henry said. "He would need time on the field to improve. He's got the opportunity on Saturday."

Henry said that he would be disappointed by anything less than a French backlash after their humiliation in Lyon.

"I am sure France has got character. We are expecting that. We would be disappointed if it does not happen," he added.

"The score was quite large and we played with a lot of enthusiasm and pride.

"The challenge is to stand up again. There will be a lot of pressure on the individuals to perform. A lot of quality players have not been selected. That's another motivation."

New Zealand team: MacDonald; Rokocoko, Muliaina, Nonu, Sivivatu; Carter, Kelleher; Woodcock, Mealamu, Hayman, Jack, Williams, Collins, McCaw, So'oialo.
Replacements: Hore, Tialata, Eaton, Masoe, Ellis, Evans, McAlister.

NZ performance 'one of the best'
12 Nov 06 |  Rugby Union
France 3-47 New Zealand
11 Nov 06 |  Rugby Union
Henry plays down NZ superiority
06 Nov 06 |  Rugby Union
England 20-41 New Zealand
05 Nov 06 |  Rugby Union


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Daily and weekly e-mails | Mobiles | Desktop Tools | News Feeds | Interactive Television | Downloads
Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | Disability sport | Olympics 2012 | Sport Relief | Other sport...

Help | Privacy & Cookies Policy | News sources | About the BBC | Contact us