Australia to face All Blacks test

Quade Cooper (c) of Australia and team-mates at Eden Park
Australia are looking to end New Zealand's unbeaten run at Eden Park

New Zealand will look to lay down another World Cup marker when they take on Australia in Auckland on Saturday.

The world's two leading teams meet in the Tri-Nations after both beat South Africa in their opening fixtures.

The All Blacks have not lost at Eden Park for 17 years and the rankings suggest both teams could return there for the World Cup final in October.

"It would be great if that did eventuate but that's miles away," said Australia coach Robbie Deans.

"We're not even thinking about that stuff now. You concentrate on what's in front of you. There'll be a lot of conclusions drawn and there's clearly a lot of interest and scrutiny involved around this game but from the players' perspective it is like any other. It should be a great contest."

The Wallabies, who are starting with the same side that beat the Springboks 39-20 two weeks ago, have an average age of 24 and have won 388 caps between them.

In contrast, the All Blacks have an average age of nearly 29 and boast a total of 766 Test caps, making them slightly older than the ageing England side who won the 2003 World Cup.

"It's game one in a two-match Bledisloe Cup series involving the teams ranked number one and two in the world," said New Zealand coach Graham Henry.

"It's a hugely important Test and is going to be a massive challenge, but we are looking forward to that. Our ability to play the game correctly is going to be very important."

New Zealand: Mils Muliaina; Sitiveni Sivivatu, Conrad Smith, Ma'a Nonu, Hosea Gear; Daniel Carter, Piri Weepu; Kieran Read, Richie McCaw (captain), Jerome Kaino, Ali Williams, Brad Thorn, Owen Franks, Keven Mealamu, Wyatt Crockett. Reserves: Andrew Hore, Ben Franks, Samuel Whitelock, Adam Thomson, Andy Ellis, Colin Slade, Sonny Bill Williams.

Australia: Kurtley Beale; James O'Connor, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Pat McCabe, Digby Ioane; Quade Cooper, Will Genia; Ben McCalman, David Pocock, Rocky Elsom (capt), James Horwill, Rob Simmons, Ben Alexander, Stephen Moore, Sekope Kepu. Reserves: Saia Faingaa, Pekahou Cowan, Dan Vickerman, Scott Higginbotham, Luke Burgess, Anthony Faingaa, Lachie Turner

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