Internationals - Ranger eyes NZ debut

Eurosport - Tue, 22 Jun 10:00:00 2010

Auckland Blues back Rene Ranger could make his New Zealand debut on Saturday after he was named on the bench for the second Test with Wales.

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Ranger, who was not in the original squad named last month, was called in this week to cover for injured full-back Israel Dagg (concussion) and centre Conrad Smith (eye) for the match in Hamilton.

"With both Conrad and Israel unavailable through injury, Rene now gets his chance at test level," All Blacks coach Graham Henry said in a statement.

"He was a stand-out player in the Super 14 and he was also impressive for the Barbarians against New Zealand Maori."

Mils Muliaina, who has recovered from surgery to fix a broken thumb, will replace Dagg, who was concussed in the first half of the All Blacks' 42-9 victory over Wales last Saturday in the final test at Carisbrook in Dunedin.

The 82-test veteran missed the second half of the Super 14 after he broke the thumb against the Otago Highlanders.

Richard Kahui, who came off the bench last week to play on the wing, replaces Smith in his normal position of centre, while Zac Guildford replaces Joe Rokocoko on the left wing.

Props Tony Woodcock and Neemia Tialata, blindside flanker Jerome Kaino and lock Tom Donnelly have all been restored to the forwards.

Donnelly has been recovering from a long-term calf injury and replaces Anthony Boric, who broke his cheek bone last Saturday, while Woodcock and Tialata replace Ben and Owen

Franks and Kaino comes in for Victor Vito.

New Zealand: 15-Mils Muliaina, 14-Cory Jane, 13-Richard Kahui, 12-Benson Stanley, 11-Zac Guildford, 10-Daniel Carter, 9-Jimmy Cowan, 8-Kieran Read, 7-Richie McCaw (capt), 6-Jerome Kaino, 5-Tom Donnelly, 4-Brad Thorn, 3-Neemia Tialata, 2-Keven Mealamu, 1-Tony Woodcock.

Replacements: 16-Aled de Malmanche, 17-Owen Franks, 18-Tom Sam Whitelock, 19-Adam Thomson, 20-Piri Weepu, 21-Aaron Cruden, 22-Rene Ranger.


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