All Blacks: Mils back, Dagg on wing

By NZ Herald staff

Mils Muliaina will play his 99th test for the All Blacks when he runs out against Canada on Sunday at the Rugby World Cup. Photo / Getty Images
Mils Muliaina will play his 99th test for the All Blacks when he runs out against Canada on Sunday at the Rugby World Cup. Photo / Getty Images

Israel Dagg will play on the wing in the All Blacks final Rugby World Cup pool match against Canada on Sunday in a number of changes named today.

The starting XV also features the return of Mils Muliaina at fullback in his 99th Test, Sonny Bill Williams comes into second five-eighth for his fifth Test start, while halfback Jimmy Cowan gets the starting halfback jersey in what will be his 50th Test match.

Zac Guildford will also feature at the Rugby World Cup for the first time, getting a starting spot on the left wing to play in his eighth test.

In the forwards, Kieran Read returns to the starting XV for his first start in the Rugby World Cup after recovering from his ankle sprain; Andrew Hore has been named at hooker with Ali Williams at lock.

All Blacks Coach Graham Henry said: "We are looking to improve each week during the Rugby World Cup, with an increase in intensity and execution, and we will be looking to do that again this week. Having said that, the Canadians have shown in this Rugby World Cup just what they are capable of, including a good win over Tonga and the hard-fought draw against Japan, so we are expecting a passionate contest."

As well as the 50-Test milestone for Cowan, Henry, Hansen and Smith will celebrate their 100th All Blacks Test together as a coaching trio. Meanwhile, Daniel Carter will play his 85th Test, Tony Woodcock his 80th and Ali Williams his 70th.

The All Blacks have played Canada four times, including twice at Rugby World Cup: in 1991 in the Quarterfinal and in 2003 in Pool Play.

Starting XV:

1. Tony Woodcock (79)
2. Andrew Hore (58)
3. Owen Franks (26)
4. Samuel Whitelock (21)
5. Ali Williams (69)
6. Jerome Kaino (44)
7. Richie McCaw - captain (100)
8. Kieran Read (32)
9. Jimmy Cowan (49)
10. Daniel Carter (84)
11. Zac Guildford (7)
12. Sonny Bill Williams (10)
13. Conrad Smith (51)
14. Israel Dagg (9)
15. Mils Muliaina (98)

Reserves:

16. Keven Mealamu (88)
17. Ben Franks (13)
18. Brad Thorn (55)
19. Anthony Boric (23)
20. Piri Weepu (52)
21. Colin Slade (8)
22. Isaia Toeava (34)

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