LONDON (AP) — Flyhalf Daniel Carter has been selected to make his 100th test appearance for the All Blacks in Saturday's rugby union test against England, holding his place under pressure from younger rivals.
The 31-year-old Carter, who made his test debut in 2003, becomes the fifth New Zealander to play 100 tests. Three others — captain Richie McCaw, who will play his 123rd test, hooker Keven Mealamu, who will play his 110th, and prop Tony Woodcock, who will play his 107th, are included in an All Blacks starting lineup which has a total of 959 caps.
Fullback Mils Muliaina, who retired from international rugby after playing his 100th test at the 2011 Rugby World Cup, is the only other New Zealander to have reached the milestone. The All Blacks starting SV to play England contains one change from the lineup which beat France 26-19 in Paris last weekend. Julian Savea replaces Cory Jane on the left wing, while there is a further change among the reserves with lock Luke Romano replacing flanker Sam Cane.
New Zealand's win over France continued its unbeaten run in 2013 and gave the All Blacks their eighth straight win over the French — a streak which includes their 8-7 win in the 2011 World Cup final. The All Blacks last defeat, and their only loss under head coach Steve Hansen, came last December when they were beaten 38-21 by England at Twickenham.
Hansen said his team was eager to avenge that loss. "This is a test match we are very much looking forward to," he said. "We were completely outplayed by them last year but this is an opportunity for us to see if we have improved our game to the point where we can be competitive.
"We are expecting a really physical game with huge intensity but also a game that will have high levels of energy, pace and skills. We know the England coaching staff have done a lot of homework so this may be a game where we add a few new things they haven't seen before."
Jane is unlucky to lose his place after making an outstanding return to test rugby in Paris last weekend. He was playing his first major match in more than 10 months after a serious knee injury during pre-season in January.
But with Charlie Piutau having clinched the right wing position with his performance in Paris and with Savea due to return, the New Zealand coaching staff had no choice but to rest Jane. Lock Sam Whitelock has been named to play his 50th test at the heart of an experienced forward pack. The New Zealand lineup includes the most-capped All Blacks of all time in five positions: McCaw at flanker, Mealamu at center, Woodcock at prop, Carter at flyhalf and Ma'a Nonu, who will play his 86th test at inside center.
New Zealand and England have met 35 times since 1905 with New Zealand winning 27, losing seven and drawing one match.
New Zealand: Israel Dagg, Charles Piutau, Ben Smith, Ma'a Nonu, Julian Savea, Daniel Carter, Aaron Smith; Kieran Read, Richie McCaw (captain), Liam Messam, Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick, Owen Franks, Keven Mealamu, Tony Woodcock. Reserves: Dane Coles, Wyatt Crockett, Charlie Faumuina, Luke Romano, Steven Luatua, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Aaron Cruden, Ryan Crotty.