Wales v New Zealand: Richie McCaw landmark, Dan Carter out

Richie McCaw
Richie McCaw's first game as NZ captain was against Wales in 2004
Autumn internationals: Wales v New Zealand
Venue: Millennium Stadium Date: Sat 22 November Kick-off: 17:30 GMT
Coverage: Watch live on BBC Two, BBC Two HD, online, mobiles and BBC Sport app from 16:55 GMT; commentary on BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Wales & Radio Cymru; text commentary on BBC Sport website & mobiles

Richie McCaw will lead New Zealand for the 100th time on Saturday, when they face a Wales team seeking a first win against the All Blacks since 1953.

Star fly-half Dan Carter is not in the matchday squad for the game in Cardiff as coach Steve Hansen feels he is "rusty" after recovering from injury.

Instead Beauden Barrett is at 10 with Colin Slade on the bench.

Hansen said of 33-year-old flanker McCaw: "He is now one of the all-time great leaders of any sports team."

Ben Smith remains at full-back for the All Blacks, so Israel Dagg misses out. Conrad Smith is back to partner Sonny Bill Williams at centre.

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen
"We will have to be totally engaged in our own roles for the full 80 minutes and take the game to the Welsh at every opportunity."

McCaw is the only forward to retain his place after the 24-16 win over Scotland last weekend, albeit he switches from blind-side to his more familiar open-side flanker role

That reinforces Wales coach Warren Gatland's belief New Zealand would be "fully loaded" for Saturday's encounter.

The All Blacks' back division has five changes with only wing Charles Piutau and Smith keeping their places.

Hansen, who coached Wales between 2002 and 2004, had Aaron Cruden to consider at fly-half along with Barrett, Slade and Carter, who has long been regarded as the world's best in that position.

"We're using this tour to find out more about the guys we've got," said Hansen. "We've shown that when we've picked Beauden - it's difficult for Crudes to come off the bench, because we don't think he's got enough versatility."

Scrum V takes a look ahead to the Test match between Wales and New Zealand at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday.

Carter started against Scotland after an injury-disrupted season, and Hansen feels the 32-year-old is not ready to play again.

Hansen said: "If he'd come through the other day probably a little bit better, he might have been on the bench, but it's impossible to ask a guy to have as much time off as he's had and not be rusty.

"It's great with him getting game-time, we've got confidence that he's right and he's got confidence his body's right, he just needs to go home now and play Super Rugby and lots of it."

McCaw captained New Zealand for the first time when they faced Wales in November 2004, the 26-25 win they recorded the narrowest margin between the teams in the professional era.

Since Wales beat the All Blacks in 1953, New Zealand have won 25 successive Tests against the men in red, leaving Wales with only three wins, two of them pre-dating World War Two.

Wales centre Jonathan Davies and wing Alex Cuthbert are among those to express a belief they can end their losing streak on Saturday.

But New Zealand's starting XV boasts 737 caps and Hansen hopes his world champions can underline their qualities at the Millennium Stadium.

Wales' autumn Tests
Saturday, 8 November: Wales 28-33 Australia - report
Saturday, 15 November: Wales 17-13 Fiji - report
Saturday, 22 November: v New Zealand (17:30 GMT)
Saturday, 29 November: v South Africa (14:30 GMT)
All games to be played at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

"We are expecting a physical Test with a high 'ball-in-play' time," said Hansen.

"We know we will have to be totally engaged in our own roles for the full 80 minutes and take the game to the Welsh at every opportunity."


Wales: Leigh Halfpenny (Toulon), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), Jonathan Davies (Clermont Auvergne), Jamie Roberts (Racing Metro), George North (Northampton Saints), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Rhys Webb (Ospreys); Paul James (Bath), Richard Hibbard (Gloucester), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Jake Ball (Scarlets), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Dan Lydiate (unattached), Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues, capt), Taulupe Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons).

Replacements: Scott Baldwin (Ospreys), Nicky Smith (Ospreys), Rhodri Jones (Scarlets), Luke Charteris (Racing Metro), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Mike Phillips (Racing Metro), James Hook (Gloucester), Liam Williams (Scarlets).

New Zealand: Ben Smith; Charles Piutau, Conrad Smith, Sonny Bill Williams, Julian Savea; Beauden Barrett, Aaron Smith; Wyatt Crockett, Dane Coles, Owen Franks, Brodie Retallick, Sam Whitelock, Kieran Read, Richie McCaw (capt), Jerome Kaino.

Replacements: Keven Mealamu, Joe Moody, Charlie Faumuina, Patrick Tuipulotu, Liam Messam, TJ Perenara, Colin Slade, Ryan Crotty.

Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)

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