New look All Blacks

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The Independent Online
The New Zealand selectors today named a new-look team to face Canada in a one-off Test in Auckland on Saturday.

The flanker Josh Kronfeld, the stand-off Andrew Mehrtens and the full- back Glen Osborne will all make their Test debuts at Eden Park. Kronfeld was preferred to Michael Jones, who has been troubled by a knee injury, while Mike Brewer was called up at No 8 to replace Zinzan Brooke, who has a strained Achilles tendon.

Jamie Joseph and Craig Dowd return to the pack at the expense of Blair Larsen and Richard Loe, who were named among the reserves.

The match will be both sides' final outing before the World Cup.

Canada, who have lost their opening two matches in New Zealand, face a North Island XV in Rotorua tomorrow in their last warm-up before the Test.

Meanwhile, Scotland's Ian Jardine and Damian Cronin - both attempting to regain fitness in time for the World Cup - came unscathed through a squad training session at Murrayfield.

Cronin, who damaged elbow ligaments in the February international against France, and Jardine, the Stirling County centre whose jaw was broken in the same match, avoided contact practice as a precaution.

The forwards, Paul Burnell and Peter Walton, missed the session because they were playing for their respective clubs, London Scottish and Northampton, in Courage league games.

NEW ZEALAND (v Canada, Auckland, Saturday): G Osborne; J Wilson, F Bunce, W Little, M Ellis; A Mehrtens, G Bachop; C Dowd, S Fitzpatrick (capt), O Brown, R Brooke, I Jones, J Joseph, M Brewer, J Kronfeld. Replacements: J Lomu, S Bachop, B Larsen, N Hewitt, R Loe.