Cowan back in starting line up


MELBOURNE, July 27 – Scrumhalf Jimmy Cowan on Tuesday replaced new dad Piri Weepu for the All Blacks' Tri-Nations showdown with Australia, as veteran Joe Rokocoko returned on the wing.Cowan got the nod following Weepu’s late arrival in Melbourne after he attended the birth of his first child, a baby girl, while Rokocoko is back after a hamstring injury.

Fiji-born Rokocoko, 27, will play his 64th Test, moving ahead of All Blacks legends John Kirwan and Jonah Lomu as the country’s most capped winger.

Tony Woodcock will earn his 66th cap, equalling former team-mate Greg Somerville’s record for appearances as a New Zealand prop.

"We will need all our experience up against what is a very good Wallabies side," said coach Graham Henry.

"We have had a good start to the Tri-Nations with the two wins over South Africa but there is no room for complacency."

Both New Zealand and Australia are unbeaten heading into their first Tri-Nations match-up after handing reigning champions South Africa three consecutive defeats.

New Zealand (15-1)

Mils Muliaina, Cory Jane, Conrad Smith, Ma’a Nonu, Josevata Rokocoko, Daniel Carter, Jimmy Cowan, Kieran Read, Richie McCaw (capt), Jerome Kaino, Tom Donnelly, Brad Thorn, Owen Franks, Keven Mealamu, Tony Woodcock

Reserves: Corey Flynn, Ben Franks, Samuel Whitelock, Victor Vito, Piri Weepu, Aaron Cruden, Israel Dagg