Scotland v New Zealand: No All Blacks snub - Blair Cowan

Scotland flanker Blair Cowan
Blair Cowan was born in New Zealand and praises the All Blacks' strength in depth and passion
Autumn international: Scotland v New Zealand
Venue: BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh Date: Saturday, 15 November Kick-off: 17:30 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC Two, BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio 5 live sports extra & online; live text commentary on the BBC Sport website

Scotland flanker Blair Cowan says New Zealand have not disrespected Scotland by making wholesale changes for Saturday's Test at Murrayfield.

Only two players survive from New Zealand's starting XV for the 24-21 win over England at Twickenham.

"It is still a quality side," said New Zealand-born Cowan, 28. "It's not disrespectful in my eyes.

"The All Blacks are the All Blacks for a reason. They have depth more than any other nation in the world."

While captain Richie McCaw and Ben Smith remain from the team that beat England, world record points scorer Dan Carter returns at fly-half for his first Test start of the year.

"There has been a few changes in personnel, but they have put Dan Carter at 10," said Cowan. "He's not the man he is today without being a quality player.

"They have Richie McCaw playing too. He's an absolute legend of the game. I have that much respect for him.

"One of my targets has been to play against the best of the best and he is that."

Cowan does not think a first Scotland win over the All Blacks would be devalued by the visitors' team selection.

"For every man that steps in that jersey, it means the same thing to all of them," he said. "Having been raised in New Zealand, I know how much it means to all of them.

"So by no means, if we win, will anything be taken away from us because of the changes they have made.

Scotland coach Vern Cotter
Scotland coach Vern Cotter thinks his side could be facing future All Blacks legends

"They could pick from another 20-odd players from their ranks and it would still be a world-class team.

"If we win, it will because we were the best on the day, not because of the team they have out."

Scotland's Kiwi coach, Vern Cotter, insists his unchanged side will still get the test they deserve following last weekend's 41-31 win over Argentina.

"The 23 players that are pulling on that jersey for New Zealand will be very good players," said the former Clermont Auvergne boss.

"They have got a very strong culture and the guys on Saturday will be eager to become part of the legend.

"You can't talk about first XV and second XV with the All Blacks. They won't put players out unless they are ready.

"We don't see it as a weakened side. If anything, we see it that we are playing against future greats."

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