16 Nov 2012

Hansen excited about his side to take on Italy

11:40 am on 16 November 2012

The All Blacks coach Steve Hansen says he's excited by the progress his team has made in his first year in charge and this weekend they take on a new challenge.

As expected Hansen has named a side that contains 14 changes from the side that beat Scotland for Sunday morning's test against Italy in Rome.

There is no Richie McCaw or Dan Carter. Kieren Read will captain the side for the first time, while Beauden Barrett gets his first start at fullback.

Hansen says it's a great opportunity for the players this weekend.

Meanwhile there are eight changes to the Italy side that beat Tonga last weekend.