Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Three All Blacks stars to play for Canterbury in Ranfurly Shield/Air NZ Cup match against Wellington on Sat. night...

Canterbury will start their three All Blacks stars in the Air NZ Cup/Ranfurly Shield rugby challenge against Wellington on Saturday.

Dan Carter, Richie McCaw and Brad Thorn have all been confirmed in the starting 15 for the match in Wellington, with All Blacks skipper McCaw today named to play at No 8.

His customary role at openside flanker is filled by George Whitelock, who retains the captaincy after leading Canterbury in McCaw's absence this winter.

The match marks the first time McCaw has played in a shield challenge.

Carter has recovered from a slight calf strain which he picked up in the Tri-Nations test win over Australia in Sydney last Saturday.

Also back in Canterbury's ranks is loosehead prop Wyatt Crockett, who was involved with the All Blacks during the build-up to the Bledisloe Cup test but wasn't used in the playing 22.

Another international, loose forward Kieran Read, has not recovered sufficiently from knee injury to take his place in the Canterbury side.

Canterbury coach Rob Penney welcomed the availability of his All Blacks.

"It's great to have these guys available for us and keen to play and that enthusiasm is the key. They are obviously quality players and are extremely excited about playing in this match.

Carter comes in for Stephen Brett, who played well in Canterbury's 25-21 victory over Tasman last weekend and will be on the reserves bench.

Thorn replaces Luke Romano and McCaw comes in for Mike Coman, who is expected to be sidelined for three weeks with an ankle sprain.

In other changes, second five-eighth Ryan Crotty replaces Tim Bateman, who moves out one spot to centre, with Adam Whitelock named on the reserves bench.

James Paterson comes on to the left wing for Tu Umaga-Marshall.

Colin Slade, Sean Maitland, Tim Bateman, Ryan Crotty, James Paterson, Dan Carter, Tyson Keats, Richie McCaw, George Whitelock (captain), Michael Paterson, Brad Thorn, James Broadhurst, Peter Borlase, Ti'i Paulo, Wyatt Crockett.

Reserves: Corey Flynn, Andrew Olorenshaw, Sam Whitelock, Matt Todd, Andy Ellis, Stephen Brett, Adam Whitelock.

Acknowledgements: NZPA

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