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Mealamu to win 100th All Blacks cap

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Keven Mealamu.

Keven Mealamu. Photo: Getty Images

WELLINGTON: Hooker Keven Mealamu will on Saturday become only the third player to win 100 caps for the All Blacks when he starts against Australia in the Bledisloe Cup clash in Brisbane.

The 33-year-old follows captain Richie McCaw and full-back Mils Muliaina who both played their 100th Tests during last year's World Cup.

"On behalf of the All Blacks players and management, I want to congratulate Keven on reaching this very special milestone," said All Blacks coach Steve Hansen.

"'Kevvy' is a hugely respected man, not only in the All Blacks and New Zealand rugby but also in his wider community; he is a key leader in the team and one of the true gentlemen of New Zealand rugby. I know his family are extremely proud of him and so is his All Blacks family."

As well as Mealamu, who returns to the front row in place of Andrew Hore, Saturday's starting XV features just one other change from that which started the last Test of the Rugby Championship against South Africa 12 days ago, with prop Charlie Faumuina getting his first Test start, coming in for Owen Franks.

Other changes on the bench from the South Africa Test see Hore at reserve hooker, Victor Vito comes in for Adam Thomson as loose forward cover, while Ben Smith replaces Tamati Ellison in the outside back reserve jersey.

"Playing Australia in Brisbane represents another great challenge for the team and one which we are looking forward to," said Hansen, whose team, are aiming for a 17th successive Test win.

"We have prepared well so far for the Test and, as always, the challenge for the team is not only the opposition, but also meeting our own expectations when it comes to the standard of our performance."

New Zealand: Israel Dagg, Cory Jane, Conrad Smith, Ma'a Nonu, Hosea Gear, Daniel Carter, Aaron Smith, Kieran Read, Richie McCaw (captain), Liam Messam, Samuel Whitelock, Brodie Retallick, Charlie Faumuina, Keven Mealamu, Tony Woodcock. Replacements: Andrew Hore, Owen Franks, Luke Romano, Victor Vito, Piri Weepu, Aaron Cruden, Ben Smith.

AFP

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Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00Olym
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00Olym
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45Olym
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45Olym
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
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ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
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Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
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WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
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WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
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LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00Olym
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New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Overall standings
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England 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
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Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
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