Sam Whitelock called into New Zealand squad for second Test against France

Last Updated: 14/06/13 11:34am

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Sam Whitelock: Facing France on Saturday

Sam Whitelock: Facing France on Saturday

Sky Bet

Sam Whitelock has been called into the New Zealand line-up for Saturday's second Test with France.

Lock Brodie Retallick was ruled out of the Christchurch match with a hamstring strain that will keep him on the sidelines for four weeks.

Whitelock makes his return after missing the first Test - won 23-13 by New Zealand - with a broken finger.

"It was the obvious thing, as soon as he got the all clear, to just put him straight in," coach Steve Hansen said.

"Whitelock is a world class lock so we'll take the opportunity to use him when he's fit and available."
Steve Hansen

"We've got a policy that everyone prepares to play and because of that, when you do get hiccups which are unavoidable, guys just slot in.

"Whitelock is a world class lock so we'll take the opportunity to use him when he's fit and available.

"As soon as Doc (All Blacks doctor Tony Page) said he was fit to go, it was a pretty easy choice."

Hansen has otherwise kept faith with the same team which won the first Test in Auckland, but they will facing a French team bolstered by some of the big guns who were late arrivals on the tour because of domestic finals.

The French pack that have been strengthened with the return of veteran tighthead Nicolas Mas, while fly-half Frederic Michalak was also brought into the starting side.

"They were obvious changes that they were going to make, really," Hansen said of Philippe Saint-Andre's four personnel changes from the first Test.

"They've brought a whole lot of senior players over after their finals. They didn't bring them to play on Tuesday (against the Auckland Blues).

"Michalak had a bit of a run-round but by and large, I think the whole purpose was to get them out here this weekend.

"Clearly, there has also been a lot of work done on how we are going to approach the breakdown and I'm sure we will see an improvement there," said Hansen.

"Overall, we have had a good week's preparation. It's now about putting that preparation and hard work into a performance on the track that we can all be proud of.

"The French, however, may have their own ideas about that and one pleasing aspect from last week's Test is that we have been left with no uncertainty just how tough this weekend's Test will be.

"They have laid down the challenge to us that we will have to be at our very best to beat them."

New Zealand: Dagg, Ben Smith, Conrad Smith, Nonu, Savea, Cruden, Aaron Smith, Read (captain), Cane, Messam, Whitelock, Romano, Franks, Coles, Crockett.

Replacements: Hore, Woodcock, Franks, Thrush, Vito, Weepu, Barrett, Ranger.

France: 15 Maxime Medard; 14 Adrien Plante, 13 Florian Fritz, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Yoann Huget; 10 Frederic Michalak, 9 Maxime Machenaud; 1 Thomas Domingo, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski, 3 Nicolas Mas, 4 Christophe Samson, 5 Yoann Maestri, 6 Thierry Dusautoir (c), 7 Bernard Le Roux, 8 Louis Picamoles.

Replacements: 16 Benjamin Kayser, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Luc Ducalcon, 19 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 20 Yannick Nyanga, 21 Brice Dulin, 22 Remi Tales, 23 Mathieu Bastareaud.

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