Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Kenya : Police arrest 8 over Mombasa rampage

Read more

FOCUS

Overfishing and the global appetite for bluefin tuna: can Tokyo turn the tide?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Too many graphic images from Gaza ?

Read more

FASHION

Who's next in Paris, an event with international ready-to-wear and fashion accessories collections

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Muslims and Christians clean up Bangui, and violence spirals out of control in Algeria's Gardaia

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Is there such thing as 'telegenic' victims of war?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

2014-07-22 07:21 IN THE FRENCH PRESS

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director

Read more

  • US, European airlines suspend flights to Tel Aviv over Israel-Gaza conflict

    Read more

  • France gives go-ahead to pro-Palestinian Paris rally

    Read more

  • Video: Lebanon fears fallout from regional turmoil

    Read more

  • Australian veteran Rogers claims 16th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • French Jews mourn French-Israeli soldier killed in Gaza

    Read more

  • Colombia's Rodriguez signs '€80m' contract with Real Madrid

    Read more

  • A call for harmony in riot-hit ‘Little Jerusalem’ Paris suburb

    Read more

  • Five children among seven killed in minibus crash in eastern France

    Read more

  • Hollande says French warship delivery will ‘depend on Russia’s attitude’

    Read more

  • Widodo wins Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

  • Ukraine rebels release bodies, black boxes from flight MH17

    Read more

  • Notorious ‘VIP’ prison in Paris closed for renovations

    Read more

  • An ‘explosion of violence’: French press reacts to Gaza protests

    Read more

  • Christians in Iraq's Mosul face execution or exodus

    Read more

  • Scores killed as Libyan militias fight over airport

    Read more

  • Ukraine football players refuse to return home after friendly in France

    Read more

All Blacks stand firm while England tinker

AFP

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw (C) before the start of the rugby union match against England at Eden Park in Auckland on June 7, 2014All Blacks captain Richie McCaw (C) before the start of the rugby union match against England at Eden Park in Auckland on June 7, 2014

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw (C) before the start of the rugby union match against England at Eden Park in Auckland on June 7, 2014All Blacks captain Richie McCaw (C) before the start of the rugby union match against England at Eden Park in Auckland on June 7, 2014

New Zealand and England have both gambled with selections for the second Test in Dunedin on Saturday, with the All Blacks loyal to their erratic first Test side and England ringing the changes.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen, forced to make one injury change, has taken a punt that his first-choice line-up can improve.

He argued he had no choice but to give the side a shot at redemption after they scraped a narrow 20-15 win in the first Test with an error-strewn performance.

In a brutally frank assessment, he said if he dropped everyone who had a bad game "we wouldn't have anyone on the park."

In contrast, England coach Stuart Lancaster was armed with confidence when he named his side Thursday, dropping five players, shifting go-to ball carrier Manu Tuilagi from centre to wing, and stacking the bench with experience.

"The side we have gone for is certainly an exciting side, it's one we have been wanting to look at for a while and it's given us some great options," he said.

The decision to move Tuilagi to the wing for the first time in his Test career gives England a powerful finisher on the flank, and sets up a dynamic clash with Julian Savea, who returns as the only change for the All Blacks.

The block-busting Savea, who has scored 19 tries in his 20 Tests, missed the first Test through injury, and earns his recall with Ben Smith switched from wing to fullback to replace the injured Israel Dagg.

- Tuilagi a target -

The Tuilagi experiment, part of Lancaster's early blueprint for next year's World Cup, was immediately targeted by the All Blacks.

Hansen questioned whether the 23-year-old, Samoan-born powerhouse would have the energy for the additional running of a wing, and fly-half Aaron Cruden promised to "put a few kicks up" to test him early.

Handling errors, ineffectual tackling and a meek forward pack blighted the All Blacks performance in Auckland, and Hansen expects a vast improvement in Dunedin.

"Our skill sets were very poor (in Auckland), probably the poorest they've ever been. This week we've trained well. There's a lot more intensity and purpose about what we've done," he said.

But while Hansen qualified one reason why the All Blacks played poorly in Auckland as "a lack of preparation time", a confident Lancaster rejigged his side with relish and expects them to perform.

Switching Tuilagi to the unfamiliar wing role allows the Six Nations pair Luther Burrell and Billy Twelvetrees to team up in the centres.

A fit again Danny Care starts at scrum-half, with Owen Farrell in the pivot position.

Lancaster has also taken into consideration how the All Blacks frequently win late in a game, as they did in Auckland with Conrad Smith's try in the 77th minute, and has stacked his bench for a late England onslaught.

Experienced forwards Courtney Lawes, Billy Vunipola and Dylan Hartley, along with try-scoring wing Chris Ashton are all named in the reserves.

"One of the key things to consider is, we feel, that the game is going to take the full 80 to win and part of the selection has been the make-up of the bench," Lancaster said.

"Particularly the likes of Dylan, Courtney and Billy Vunipola in that 50-60 minutes time bring a huge amount of energy from the bench and hopefully see us home."

Date created : 2014-06-13