Muliaina to win 100th cap against Pumas

New Zealand full-back Mils Muliaina is focused on the task in hand when he wins his 100th Test cap in Sunday’s Rugby World Cup quarter-final with Argentina.

New Zealand full-back Mils Muliaina is focused on the task in hand when he wins his 100th Test cap in Sunday’s Rugby World Cup quarter-final with Argentina.

The 31-year-old retained his place in a side showing six changes in personnel and one positional switch following the 79-15 win over Canada.

Ma’a Nonu and Corey Jane return to a back division which sees Sonny Bill Williams move to the wing and Piri Weepu take over at scrum-half, with Colin Slade continuing at fly-half following the tournament-ending injury to Dan Carter.

In the forwards, captain Richie McCaw returns at flanker despite an ongoing foot injury, Keven Mealamu at hooker and Brad Thorn at lock.

Muliaina is now set to join McCaw as an All Blacks centurion after playing just one game of the World Cup thus far.

He said: “It’s a pretty special achievement. I’m pretty privileged to be able to do that. It’s going to be a proud moment.

“Every time you go out there it’s special, and no more so than in the last couple of weeks.

“When I haven’t been out there, the realisation of how special it is to be out there has sunk in a little bit more.

“It is a lot of Test matches, but it’s something that I’m honoured to have been able to do and I’m just looking forward to getting out there and getting some more game time.”

The All Blacks claimed four comfortable wins in the pool stages, with Muliaina featuring only against Canada.

However, he is determined New Zealand’s tournament continues with victory in the last-eight tie at Eden Park this weekend.

He said: “Finals football is all about this week. We learned that last time. ”We went home and we certainly don’t want to do that this weekend.

“It’s knockout stages and everyone’s really excited about it.

“We’ve embraced the fact that it’s knockout and we’re doing everything possible to make sure we don’t go home next week.”

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