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Read and Fekitoa start for All Blacks

18 June 2014

  • Read makes first start of series after concussion
  • Fekitoa earns first start in place of injured Conrad Smith
Richie McCaw (L) and Kieran Read

Photo: Getty Images

Fit-again Kieran Read returns to the New Zealand starting XV to face England in the third and final Test in Hamilton on Saturday.

The 28-year-old missed the opening two Tests after suffering lingering concussion symptoms.

Read, the International Rugby Board player of the year for 2013, will wear the No 8 jersey for coach Steve Hansen as the All Blacks seek to complete a series whitewash.

Jerome Kaino moves to blindside flanker to accommodate Read, while Liam Messam drops to the bench.

Elsewhere, Malakai Fekitoa earns his first start for the Kiwis after Conrad Smith was ruled out with a broken thumb sustained in the second match.

The All Blacks go into the match chasing a record-equalling 17 consecutives Test victories.

New Zealand team to face England

B Smith, C Jane, M Fekitoa, M Nonu, J Savea, A Cruden, A Smith, T Woodcock, D Coles, O Franks, B Retallick, S Whitelock, J Kaino, R McCaw (c), K Read

Replacements: K Mealamu, W Crockett, C Faumuina, P Tuipulotu, L Messam, TJ Perenara, B Barrett, R Crotty.