New Zealand: Richie McCaw & Dan Carter start against Scotland

Captain Richie McCaw and fly-half Dan Carter have both been named in New Zealand's starting line-up for Sunday's Test against Scotland at Murrayfield.

Tamati Ellison and Ben Smith make up a new combination in midfield.

Despite 10 changes from the team that drew with Australia last month, the starting side still boasts 556 caps with an additional 267 on the bench.

Head coach Steve Hansen said: "We know that the Scots will lift for this and we expect them to be very combative."

New Zealand's run of 16 successive wins since the start of their triumphant 2011 World Cup campaign came to an end last month with their 18-18 draw with Australia in Brisbane three weeks ago.

But they still have an eye on overtaking the 23-match run of their 1987 predecessors, who remained undefeated for more than three years after winning the inaugural World Cup.

The Murrayfield match kicks off an All Blacks tour of Europe that also has them facing Italy on 17 November, Wales on 24 November and England on 1 December.

"The team is excited about kicking off our Tour in Scotland in front of a packed house at Murrayfield," said Hansen, who stresses that he has picked a strong side.

"We've had a good build-up this week and the key for us has been to get our preparation spot on so we can put in a performance on Sunday which we are proud of."

Murrayfield is poised to witness two new New Zealand caps, with 25-year-old hooker Dane Coles and 22-year-old half-back Tawera Kerr-Barlow starting on the bench.

Hansen said that the introduction of new faces had helped his side avoid any drop in motivation after lifting the World Cup.

"That brings enthusiasm and excitement and, when All Blacks sides are like that, they're usually on the job," he said.

Richie McCaw in training ahead of New Zealand's game at Murrayfield
Richie McCaw in training ahead of New Zealand's game at Murrayfield

"Every paper we picked up told us we'd have a hangover and that made us more determined not to.

"There have been a couple of games where we let ourselves down, one not so long ago.

"But, when they're on the job, they've got a lot of talent and because they've got a lot of talent they're capable of winning games."

However, Hansen said there was never any prospect of him leaving his captain out of the game at Murrayfield.

"It's the first game of the tour and you want your captain on the paddock," he said. "It was a no-brainer.

"We've got a pretty good side and, if we prepare well, both physically and mentally, we've got quite a lot of talent."

The All Blacks have played Scotland 28 times since 1905, with 26 wins to New Zealand and two draws - in 1964 and 1983.

New Zealand won 49-3 on their last visit to Murrayfield, in 2010.

New Zealand: Israel Dagg, Cory Jane, Ben Smith, Tamati Ellison, Julian Savea, Daniel Carter, Piri Weepu; Wyatt Crockett, Andrew Hore, Owen Franks, Luke Romano, Sam Whitelock, Adam Thomson, Richie McCaw (captain), Victor Vito. Replacements: Dane Coles, Tony Woodcock, Ben Franks, Ali Williams, Sam Cane, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Beauden Barrett, Ma'a Nonu.


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