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Page last updated at 16:52 GMT, Tuesday, 2 November 2010

New Zealand's Richie McCaw wary of Ben Foden threat

England v New Zealand
Venue: Twickenham Date: Saturday 6 November Kick-off: 1430 GMT Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live, text commentary and live scores on BBC Sport website, Live on Sky Sports 1; Highlights on BBC Three and online Sat 1930 GMT, and Sun 7 Nov on BBC Two and online 1130

By Bryn Palmer

England full-back Ben Foden
Foden will win his seventh England cap against the All Blacks on Saturday

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw is wary of the attacking threat posed by England full-back Ben Foden ahead of Saturday's clash at Twickenham.

New Zealand have not conceded a try on their last two European tours and won 19-6 in south-west London last year.

But Foden, wing Chris Ashton and scrum-half Ben Youngs, who all start their first Tests at Twickenham, have given England a cutting edge in the backline.

"Foden has got some real ability with the ball in hand," said McCaw.

"Perhaps in the past against England you might expect the ball to be kicked straight back at you. But he has got the attitude to have a crack first - kicking is certainly his second option."

Foden and Northampton team-mate Ashton, who will both start their fourth Tests on Saturday, were introduced for the last game of this year's Six Nations against France in Paris, Foden scoring a superb try.

They have more of a balance and that makes them more threatening

Richie McCaw on England

Ashton matched that with a stunning effort in England's 21-20 win over Australia in Sydney in June, a result McCaw believes will breed confidence in the home ranks on Saturday.

"They way the game is going, to compete you have got to have the ability to use the ball and England showed that against the Wallabies," said McCaw, who will win his 91st cap at Twickenham, one short of Sean Fitzpatrick's All Blacks record.

"They will take some confidence from having a similar team to the one they had in June and they are still going to be a physical team. But that ability to use the ball means I think it will be a bit different.

"A lot of what they do will be similar but it looks like they want to use the ball a bit more, they have more of a balance and that makes them more threatening."

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Alongside the dashing speed of Foden, Ashton and Youngs, two other England players - New Zealand-born centre Shontayne Hape and lock Courtney Lawes, will also be starting their first matches at Twickenham.

The latter duo provide a more directly physical presence, while the return of 19st 5lb prop Andrew Sheridan provides further ballast.

"They are going to be a challenge physically," added McCaw. "They are a big team who pride themselves on that. We are going to have to be right on the job to prepare for that."

It was a message reiterated by lock Anthony Boric, one of a number of players in the shake-up for a place in the tourists' 22 after their 26-24 defeat by Australia in Hong Kong last Saturday.

"There was quite a bit of physicality in training today in preparation for what we can expect," said Boric. "England are going to look to smash us up in that area."

All Blacks coach Graham Henry will unveil his starting line-up at 0530 GMT (1830 in New Zealand) on Thursday.



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see also
Prop Sheridan returns for England
02 Nov 10 |  English
Williams to make All Blacks debut
04 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
Australia 26-24 New Zealand
30 Oct 10 |  Rugby Union
Wilkinson to miss November Tests
29 Oct 10 |  English
BBC to screen autumn rugby Tests
26 Oct 10 |  Rugby Union
Australia 20-21 England
19 Jun 10 |  English
England 6-19 New Zealand
21 Nov 09 |  English


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