8 Oct 2011

Muliaina set to play 100th test

5:56 am on 8 October 2011

Fullback Mils Muliaina will play his 100th test for the All Blacks on Sunday after being named to start in the World Cup quarterfinal against Argentina.

Two weeks after captain Richie McCaw became the first All Black to reach the milestone, a thigh injury to fullback Israel Dagg has given Muliaina the chance to match him.

Hamstring injuries to wingers Richard Kahui and Zac Guildford have forced other changes from the team that beat Canada in their final pool match, with Sonny Bill Williams and Cory Jane coming into the side for the match in Auckland.

Piri Weepu starts at halfback with Colin Slade and Ma'a Nonu outside him, while Sonny Bill Williams and Cory Jane are the wings.

Richie McCaw returns to the forward pack despite the "niggly" foot problem which has seen him pull out of two of the four matches so far.

Coach Graham Henry said Dagg and Kahui would be available next week if the All Blacks reach the semifinals.


Starting XV: Tony Woodcock, Keven Mealamu, Owen Franks, Samuel Whitelock, Brad Thorn, Jerome Kaino, Richie McCaw, Kieran Read, Piri Weepu, Colin Slade, Sonny Bill Williams, Ma'a Nonu, Conrad Smith, Cory Jane, Mils Muliaina

Reserves: Andrew Hore, Ben Franks, Ali Williams, Victor Vito, Jimmy Cowan, Aaron Cruden, Isaia Toeava.