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Fekitoa starts and Read returns for All Blacks

Malakai Fekitoa slips through a gap for the All Blacks

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Article Published: Wednesday 18 June 2014|

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All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has named Malakai Fekitoa in the starting line up for the third and final Test against England at Waikato Stadium, Hamilton on Saturday.

Fekitoa comes into the starting line up as Conrad Smith's replacement in the backline after he suffered a broken bone in his hand playing on Saturday

The All Blacks will also be boosted by the return of IRB player of the year for 2013 Kieran Read who starts in his favoured number eight jersey for his first Test of the season.

Read's return pushes Jerome Kaino to blindside flanker while captain Richie McCaw retains his number seven jersey.

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said that while the series has already been won there is huge motivation in the camp to improve the quality of their performance.

"Whilst we felt we improved from the first Test to the second, there are areas of our game we want to improve on and that has been the focus for us this week," said Hansen.

"We enjoy playing in Hamilton and in front of a sold-out Waikato Stadium we are looking forward to producing a quality performance that we can all be proud of."

The match will be a special occassion for Beauden Barrett who holds the world record of 18 consecutive wins in his first 18 Test matches.

New Zealand.

1. Tony Woodcock , 2. Dane Coles , 3. Owen Franks , 4. Brodie Retallick , 5. Samuel Whitelock , 6. Jerome Kaino , 7. Richie McCaw (c) , 8. Kieran Read , 9. Aaron Smith , 10. Aaron Cruden , 11. Julian Savea , 12. Ma'a Nonu , 13. Malakai Fekitoa , 14. Cory Jane , 15. Ben Smith

Replacements : 16. Keven Mealamu , 17. Wyatt Crockett , 18. Charlie Faumuina , 19. Patrick Tuipulotu , 20. Liam Messam , 21. TJ Perenara , 22. Beauden Barrett , 23. Ryan Crotty

 
 
 
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