Weepu to lead All Blacks against Munster

Wellington scrum-half Piri Weepu will captain New Zealand for the first time against Munster at Thomond Park.

Wellington scrum-half Piri Weepu will captain New Zealand for the first time against Munster at Thomond Park.

The All Blacks line-up for Tuesday also includes wing Joe Rokocoko, who started yesterday’s 22-3 victory over Ireland in Croke Park.

Two other players make their full All Blacks debuts – Tasman prop Ben Franks and Taranaki flanker Scott Waldrom – with two more prospective newcomers on the bench in Hawkes Bay hooker Hikawera Elliott and Wellington half-back Alby Mathewson.

The team contains eight players who started New Zealand’s 32-6 triumph against Scotland at Murrayfield earlier this month.

The game against European champions Munster marks the official opening of their renovated Limerick stadium.

All Blacks coach Graham Henry said: “The Munster match will be a special occasion for the team, and the guys are really looking forward to visiting Limerick.

“The team also knows that it will be a hard, physical match against the European club champions.”

The New Zealand squad will arrive in Cardiff on Wednesday afternoon to prepare for next Saturday’s Test match against Wales – in which they protect a 55-year unbeaten record against the current RBS 6 Nations champions.

Team: C Jane; H Gear, A Tuitavake, I Toeava, J Rokocoko; S Donald, P Weepu (capt); J Mackintosh, C Flynn, B Franks, R Filipo, J Eaton, A Thomson, S Waldrom, L Messam.

Replacements: H Elliott, J Afoa, B Thorn, K Read, A Mathewson, R Kahui, M Muliaina.

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