New Zealand select uncapped Tom Taylor at fly-half to face Australia
Last Updated: 23/08/13 9:54am
Tom Taylor: To make All Blacks debut
New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen has chosen uncapped Tom Taylor at fly-half for Saturday's Rugby Championship Test against Australia in Wellington.
Hansen chose Taylor over the more experienced Colin Slade as the answer to a fly-half injury crisis in Saturday's Rugby Championship Test against Australia.
Crusaders utility Taylor will wear the All Blacks jersey for the first time as the home team attempts to overcome the loss through injury of No 10s Dan Carter, Aaron Cruden and Beauden Barrett.
Both Cruden and Barrett were injured during New Zealand's 47-29 win over Australia in the first round of the Rugby Championships last weekend.
The All Blacks were expected to award the starting role to the more experienced Slade, who played the latest of his 10 Tests for New Zealand during the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
Instead, they have opted for the less experienced Taylor, promoting him into the starting line-up and naming Slade on the bench.
Hansen hailed Taylor as "mentally tough and plays the game with a lot of confidence and maturity".
Tom Taylor, is the son of Warwick, who was an All Blacks centre from 1983 to 1988 and nephew of Murray Taylor who was also a New Zealand utility back.
"These factors, along with his assured goalkicking under pressure, have made this an easy selection," Hansen said. "We have every faith that he will handle the occasion with aplomb."
Carter was ruled out of the first two Championships matches with a calf injury, awarding the starting role to Cruden who suffered a knee injury during the late stages of the match in Sydney. Barrett took the field as his replacement but suffered a slight calf strain and was limping by the match's end.
Carter may be fit to return for New Zealand's third-round match against Argentina at Hamilton on September 7.
New Zealand: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Tom Taylor, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (c), 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Jeremy Thrush, 20 Sam Cane, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Colin Slade, 23 Charles Piutau.