Dan Carter and Owen Farrell, who have both been nominated as IRB Player of the Year, will go head to head when England attempt to end New Zealand’s 20-Test unbeaten record at Twickenham on Saturday.
The No10s were both named in their teams today as All Blacks head coach Steven Hansen revealed that all but two of his squad have been struck down by the Norovirus bug this week, although he insisted everyone will be fit to face England.
Hansen was unable to select Carter for the win over Wales but the fly-half has recovered from his leg injury.
Farrell, meanwhile, takes over the England No10 jersey from Toby Flood, who injured his two against South Africa. The Saracens outside-half is the only change to the England XV that lost 16-15 to the Springboks but head coach Stuart Lancaster has included two new faces on the bench.
Gloucester fly-half Freddie Burns comes in along with Northampton’s Courtney Lawes, who replaces Saracens lock Mouritz Botha in the squad.
Lancaster said: “We asked for a big response from the players after Australia and we got one last Saturday against South Africa, although ultimately we were denied. That frustration has been channelled this week and the whole squad has reacted with a determination to get a victory against the top team in the world.
“We are delighted that Courtney has got an opportunity. He has worked hard to get back in contention and what better game for him to make an impact. The same with Freddie Burns, who has had a great Premiership season so far, and we are looking forward to seeing him contribute should he get his chance.”
The All Blacks have not been beaten for 20 test matches with Australia’s 18-18 Bledisloe Cup draw the only blemish on their record. Buck Shelford’s team from the late 1980’s went 23 games unbeaten.
They have recorded nine consecutive wins over England and the world champions will field players with a combined 788 caps in the starting line-up and 146 on the bench.
Two further changes to the XV sees hooker Keven Mealamu replace the suspended Andrew Hore, while lock Brodie Retallick is promoted to the second row in place of Luke Romano. Hore was yesterday handed a five week ban for felling Wales lock Bradley Davies with a swinging arm.
“There is huge motivation within the team to finish the season off on a high,” said All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen.
“We know that the English will lift themselves for their final match of the year, especially following their two recent narrow defeats to South Africa and Australia.”
Of the 34 previous meetings between the rivals, New Zealand have won 27 with only one draw.
England team to play New Zealand in the QBE autumn international at Twickenham on Saturday, December 1 (kick-off 2.30pm):
A Goode (Saracens); C Ashton (Saracens), M Tuilagi (Leicester), B Barritt (Saracens), M Brown (Harlequins); O Farrell (Saracens), B Youngs (Leicester); A Corbisiero (London Irish), T Youngs (Leicester), D Cole (Leicester), J Launchbury (Wasps), G Parling (Leicester), T Wood (Northampton), C Robshaw (Harlequins, capt), B Morgan (Gloucester).
Replacements: D Paice (London Irish), D Wilson (Bath), M Vunipola (Saracens), C Lawes (Northampton), J Haskell (Wasps), D Care (Harlequins), F Burns (Gloucester), J Joseph (London Irish).
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