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October 29, 2009

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Home » Sports » Rugby

Kiwis name strong line-up for Tokyo

NEW Zealand coach Graham Henry expects Saturday's Bledisloe Cup test against Australia to be a full-blooded encounter and has signalled his intentions by naming a strong lineup for the match at Tokyo's Olympic Stadium.

Winger Sitiveni Sivivatu and center Conrad Smith have returned to the starting side from injury after they missed the game against Australia in Wellington last month, while stalwart Rodney So'oialo returns to the back of the scrum.

So'oialo replaces Kieran Read, who was dropped to the bench, in the only change from the forward pack which demolished the Wallabies in the 33-6 victory at Westpac Stadium in Wellington.

Sivivatu and Smith, both first-choice players when fit, come in for the injured Isaia Toeava and the dropped Joe Rokocoko in the side named on Wednesday.

"Both sides will be looking to kick off their respective tours with a strong performance so, as always, we are expecting there to be a lot of intensity and a real edge to this test," Henry said.

Hooker Corey Flynn, who has been plagued with a succession of broken arms throughout his career, has been named on the bench in place of Aled de Malmanche.

Flynn is the only other specialist hooker on tour after the selectors opted for more loose forwards in the squad.

Wellington utility back Tamati Ellison, who was part of the wider training squad during the Tri-Nations but did not play, is expected to make his test debut off the bench, where he will cover the outside backs.

New Zealand has already retained the Bledisloe Cup after its three victories over Australia in this year's Tri-Nations.


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