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All Blacks bring in Luaki and Howlett

The All Blacks have brought in winger Doug Howlett and flanker Sione Lauaki for the deciding match of the Tri-Nations series against Australia in Auckland on Saturday.

Howlett comes onto the right wing in place of Rico Gear, who had a subdued match in the All Blacks’ 31-27 win over the Springboks in Dunedin at the weekend.

“We thought the fresh player would be a good option this week,” All Blacks coach Graham Henry said after naming the side Tuesday.

“Doug has played some outstanding rugby for Auckland recently, while Rico has played virtually every Super 12 and Test match since mid-February.”

New Zealand

Mils Muliaina, Doug Howlett, Tana Umaga (captain), Aaron Mauger, Joe Rokocoko, Leon MacDonald, Piri Weepu, Rodney So’oialo, Richie McCaw, Sione Lauaki, Ali Williams, Chris Jack, Carl Hayman, Keven Mealamu, Tony Woodcock.

Reserves: Derren Witcombe, Greg Somerville, James Ryan, Marty Holah, Kevin Senio, Luke McAlister, Conrad Smith.