New Zealand call up Tom Taylor and Hika Elliot ahead of England Test
Last Updated: November 25, 2012 7:06pm
World champions New Zealand have called up Tom Taylor and Hika Elliot ahead of Saturday's clash against England at Twickenham.
Crusaders fly-half Taylor and Chiefs hooker Elliot have both been summoned by All Blacks coach Steve Hansen following their 33-10 victory over Wales in Cardiff.
Taylor, son of 1987 World Cup winner Warwick Taylor, will provide cover for Dan Carter who is rated 50-50 for Twickenham after he missed the game at the Millennium Stadium with an Achilles injury.
Elliot, meanwhile, will link up with the squad as Keven Mealamu has a calf muscle problem and Andrew Hore is likely to find himself in disciplinary hot water after punching Wales lock Bradley Davies.
If Hore is cited, then he can expect to face a disciplinary hearing on Tuesday or Wednesday. Hansen accepted after the game that Hore would "probably be cited", and the All Blacks squad headed to London with that cloud hanging over them.
Aaron Cruden, who took over from Carter during the World Cup last year when he suffered an injury during the competition's pool phase, delivered another assured display in his absence against Wales, kicking 18 points.
"Aaron was outstanding," Hansen said. "He drove us around the park for the first 50 minutes really well. His kicking game was exceptional, when a couple of years ago he didn't have a kicking game."
New Zealand are now unbeaten in 20 Tests in the wake of their win in Wales and Hansen has praised the team's ability to stay level-headed, although he is unwilling to say they are better than their '67 all-conquering side.
"What I like about this team is that they want to play rugby, and they are very humble guys in terms of how they give their time," he continued.
"The best (New Zealand) side I ever saw was the 1967 side. If people think we are (better), then that is something I will leave up to them.
"We can get better, and we have to - otherwise we will get passed. We were pretty clinical for the first 60-65 minutes (against Wales). We did things pretty well and took our opportunities.
"In the last 20 minutes, we lost our way a bit and kicked away a bit too much ball. But overall, for our second-last game of the season I thought it was 10 out of 10."