McCaw and Mortlock out of Saturday's Tri-Nations clash

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw and Australian skipper Stirling Mortlock have both been ruled out of Saturday’s Tri-Nations test.

McCaw has not sufficiently recovered from an ankle injury, the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) has said, while Mortlock failed to recover from a knock to the head in his side’s 16-9 victory over South Africa last Saturday.

McCaw had been bracketed with fellow openside flanker Daniel Braid, who will now start the game at Sydney’s Olympic Stadium.

McCaw was a surprise inclusion when the team was named on Tuesday. He suffered the injury last month against England and had been expected to be out for a minimum of six weeks. Wellington Hurricanes captain Rodney So’oialo will again lead the side in McCaw’s absence.

Rugby league convert Ryan Cross will replace Mortlock for the game, which also doubles as the first of four Bledisloe Cup matches. Flanker George Smith will captain the Wallabies in Mortlock’s absence.

Cross, 28, has won three caps as a replacement since making the squad for the first test against France in June, but Saturday’s match at Sydney’s Olympic stadium will be his first appearance in the starting side.

Cross, who played rugby union at schoolboy level, joined the Perth-based Western Force Super 14 team two years ago. He made an immediate impression when he scored two tries against France in Brisbane after coming on in the second half.

Cross’s elevation to the starting side means a call-up to the bench for another former rugby league player, Timana Tahu.

Tahu, 27, switched to union with the New South Waratahs at the start of the year after a successful career during which he played for Parramatta, New South Wales and Australia.

In the only other change to the 22-man squad, lock Dan Vickerman returns to the side after recovering from ankle surgery, replacing Queensland’s Hugh McMeniman on the bench.

Eight members of the squad, Cross, Tahu, centre Berrick Barnes, winger Peter Hynes, scrumhalf Luke Burgess, lock James Horwill, prop Benn Robinson and replacement hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau will be playing the All Blacks for the first time.

Teams:

Australia: 15-Adam Ashley-Cooper, 14-Peter Hynes, 13-Ryan Cross, 12-Berrick Barnes, 11-Lote Tuqiri, 10-Matt Giteau, 9-Luke Burgess, 8-Wycliff Palu, 7-George Smith, 6-Rocky Elsom, 5-Nathan Sharpe, 4-James Horwill, 3-Al Baxter, 2-Stephen Moore, 1-Benn Robinson

Replacements: 16-Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17-Matt Dunning, 18-Dan Vickerman, 19-Phil Waugh, 20-Sam Cordingley, 21-Timana Tahu, 22-Drew Mitchell

New Zealand: 15-Mils Muliaina, 14-Anthony Tuitavake, 13-Richard Kahui, 12-Ma’a Nonu, 11-Sitiveni Sivivatu, 10-Dan Carter, 9-Andy Ellis, 8-Jerome Kaino, 7-Daniel Braid, 6-Rodney So’oialo (captain), 5-Ali Williams, 4-Brad Thorn, 3-Greg Somerville, 2-Andrew Hore, 1-Tony Woodcock

Replacements: 16-Keven Mealamu, 17-John Afoa, 18-Anthony Boric, 19-Sione Lauaki, 20-Jimmy Cowan, 21-Stephen Donald, 22-Conrad Smith

News
Legendary blues and rock singer Joe Cocker has died of lung cancer, his management team as confirmed. He was 70
people70-year-old was most famous for 'You are So Beautiful'
News
people
Sport
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
footballLatest score and Twitter updates
Arts and Entertainment
David Hasselhof in Peter Pan
The US stars who've taken to UK panto, from Hasselhoff to Hall
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
News
newsIt was due to be auctioned off for charity
Life and Style
A still from a scene cut from The Interview showing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's death.
tech
Environment
Sir David Attenborough
environment... as well as a plant and a spider
Voices
'That's the legal bit done. Now on to the ceremony!'
voicesThe fight for marriage equality isn't over yet, says Siobhan Fenton
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: IT Support Technician - 12 Month Fixed Term - Shrewsbury

£17000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Helpdesk Support Technician - 12 ...

The Jenrick Group: Maintenance Planner

£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance...

The Jenrick Group: World Wide PLC Service Engineer

£30000 - £38000 per annum + pesion + holidays: The Jenrick Group: World Wide S...

The Jenrick Group: Project Manager

£35000 per annum + Pension+Bupa: The Jenrick Group: We are recruiting for an e...

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'