All Blacks: Debutants Dominic Bird and Frank Halai to face Japan on Saturday
Last Updated: October 30, 2013 5:12pm
New Zealand train in Tokyo ahead of Saturday's Test against Japan
The All Blacks have named debutants Dominic Bird and Frank Halai in their starting XV to face Japan on Saturday.
Bird will play at lock while Halai is on the wing at Tokyo's Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium.
Two more uncapped players, prop Jeffery Toomaga-Allen and flanker Luke Whitelock, are among the replacements.
Scrum-half Tawera Kerr-Barlow receives his first Test start in a contest New Zealand will use to showcase their rising talent.
However, skipper Richie McCaw and fly-half Dan Carter are also named to give the team experience.
Both would normally have been rested and sent straight to Paris alongside 10 other senior players ahead of the European leg of their tour.
But McCaw and Carter have recently returned from injuries and need some match action.
New Zealand: 15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Charles Piutau, 13 Ben Smith, 12 Francis Saili, 11 Frank Halai, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow; 1 Wyatt Crockett, 2 Dane Coles, 3 Ben Franks, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 5 Dominic Bird, 6 Steven Luatua, 7 Sam Cane, 8 Richie McCaw (c).
Replacements: 16 Andrew Hore, 17 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Brodie Retallick, 20 Luke Whitelock, 21 Aaron Smith, 22 Tom Taylor, 23 Ryan Crotty.