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France 16:45 Fiji

New Zealand name Dan Carter and Piri Weepu in half-backs for third Test with France

Last Updated: 19/06/13 10:16pm

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Piri Weepu (left) and Dan Carter: reunited in the halves for New Zealand

Piri Weepu (left) and Dan Carter: reunited in the halves for New Zealand

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Daniel Carter has recovered from a hand injury and will start for New Zealand in the third Test against France in New Plymouth on Saturday.

Stand-off Carter partners Piri Weepu in the halves for the first time this season as the All Blacks look to complete a series whitewash.

Carter missed the victories over France in Auckland and Christchurch but returns to give Aaron Cruden a rest, while Weepu is back after suffering concussion in the Auckland Blues' Super Rugby defeat to the Otago Highlanders in Dunedin on June 1.

Rene Ranger has been brought in on the wing, while blindside flanker Victor Vito makes his first start of the year at Yarrow Stadium and Andrew Hore fills in for injured hooker Dane Coles (calf strain).

"While the series has been won, we certainly won't be underestimating the French in this final match," New Zealand coach Steve Hansen said in a statement.

"We have put a full stop in last weekend's performance and expecting further improvement from ourselves, and another hard, physical contest from the French."

Charles Piutau is one of three uncapped players included on the bench.

New Zealand: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Rene Ranger, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Piri Weepu; 8 Kieran Read (capt), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Victor Vito, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Wyatt Crockett

Replacements: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Tony Woodcock, 18-Ben Franks, 19 Steven Luatua, 20 Matt Todd, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Charles Piutau

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