3 Oct 2014

Retallick and Crockett lose fitness race

11:23 am on 3 October 2014

Lock Brodie Retallick and loosehead prop Wyatt Crockett have lost their race to be fit in time for the All Blacks' final Rugby Championship Test of the year against South Africa.

Retallick was suffering from concussion-like symptoms after coming off in the 34-13 victory over Argentina last week in La Plata, while Crockett suffered a bad cut under his eye which required several stitches.

All Blacks prop Wyatt Crockett leaves the field with an eye injury against the Pumas.

All Blacks prop Wyatt Crockett leaves the field with an eye injury against the Pumas. Photo: Photosport

Jeremy Thrush replaces Retallick while Joe Moody will start his first Test.

On the reserves bench for the Johannesburg clash, Dane Coles returns after re-joining the team in South Africa following the birth of his son, with Charlie Faumuina, Steven Luatua and Liam Messam also coming onto the bench.

In the back reserves, Tawera Kerr-Barlow gets his first opportunity in the Rugby Championship while Ryan Crotty comes in for Cory Jane, who has a hamstring strain.

Skipper Richie McCaw will play his 134th match for the All Blacks, surpassing the record he jointly held with Colin Meads for most matches played for the All Blacks.

New Zealand have already won the Rugby Championship title after last week's bonus-point win, having secured the title for the third straight year.

All Blacks:

Richie McCaw (captain), Joe Moody, Keven Mealamu, Owen Franks, Jeremy Thrush, Samuel Whitelock, Jerome Kaino, Kieran Read, Aaron Smith, Beauden Barrett, Julian Savea, Malakai Fekitoa, Conrad Smith, Ben Smith, Israel Dagg.


Dane Coles, Ben Franks, Charlie Faumuina, Steven Luatua, Liam Messam, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Colin Slade, Ryan Crotty.