25 Aug 2011

Cooper to take much greater control of Tri Nations decider: Carter

3:56 pm on 25 August 2011

The All Blacks will be more or less back to full strength for Saturday night's deciding Tri-Nations Test against the Wallabies in Brisbane.

The host of front line players rested for last weekend's game against the Springboks, including skipper Richie McCaw, were named in a near full-strength lineup for a match which will decide southern hemisphere bragging rights ahead of next month's World Cup.

Coach Graham Henry has replaced the entire backline that failed to convert a number of chances against the Springboks. Piri Weepu will be the starting halfback inside Daniel Carter, with Ma'a Nonu and Conrad Smith re-united in the midfield, the wings are Zac Guildford and Corey Jane and Mils Muliaina will play his 98th test in place of Israel Dagg.

The only notable absence is Jerome Kaino, who's being rested, allowing Adam Thomson to return to his favoured blindside flanker position after playing in McCaw's openside spot against the Springboks.

The side boasts 10 of the starting XV that humbled the Wallabies in their Tri-Nations opener at Eden Park earlier this month.