Highlanders centre Malakai Fekitoa has been named to make his starting test debut for the All Blacks against England in the third test in Hamilton, replacing the injured Conrad Smith.
The stage is set for Fekitoa who has had a meteoric rise given that he has gone from a Blues discard to a Highlanders regular and boy has he made a statement in Super Rugby 2014?
The only other change sees Kieran Read start at Number Eight with Jerome Kaino moving to Number Six. This sees a return to the All Blacks loose forward trio that won the Rugby World Cup 2011.
The All Blacks have won the series against England, but it has been close. This is a great opportunity to blood Fekitoa and see how he goes against a good team. A loss for the All Blacks will give England a boost a year out from hosting the Rugby World Cup 2015.
The All Blacks will need to start blooding some new players because their squad now has a very experienced look, but the likes of Cory Jane, Keven Mealamu and Liam Messam will need to do more to me to prove that they still belong in the black jersey.
What do you think of the All Blacks team to play England in the third test?
I would rather see someone new on the right wing as Cory Jane hasn’t done much in the first two tests. Maybe Charles Piutau would be the best replacement, but he is injured!
All Blacks v England
Waikato Stadium, 7.35pm Saturday
Richie McCaw (c)
Keven Mealamu, Wyatt Crockett, Charlie Faumuina, Patrick Tuipulotu, Liam Messam, TJ Perenara, Beauden Barrett, Ryan Crotty.