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Rokocoko to Get Wing Record as All Blacks, Wallabies Change Two

New Zealand picked Joe Rokocoko for a national record 64th appearance on the wing for the July 31 Tri-Nations rugby Test against Australia, which also made two changes for the match in Melbourne.

Rokocoko replaces Rene Ranger after recovering from a hamstring strain and will move ahead of John Kirwan and Jonah Lomu as the most-capped All Blacks winger. Jimmy Cowan comes in at scrum-half for Piri Weepu in the other change from the team that began the 31-17 win over South Africa on July 17.

Australia, which beat the Springboks 30-13 three days ago, recalled Berrick Barnes at inside center and Stephen Moore at hooker. Matt Giteau moved in one place in the backline to fly-half in place of the suspended Quade Cooper.

New Zealand, which is on a seven-game winning streak against the Wallabies, tops the Tri-Nations standings with 10 points, six more than Australia. The defending champion Springboks have no points following three straight losses.

AUSTRALIA: Adam Ashley Cooper, James O’Connor, Rob Horne, Berrick Barnes, Drew Mitchell, Matt Giteau, Will Genia, Richard Brown, David Pocock, Rocky Elsom (captain), Nathan Sharpe, Dean Mumm, Salesi Ma’afu, Stephen Moore, Benn Robinson.

Reserves: Saia Faingaa, James Slipper, Rob Simmons, Matt Hodgson, Luke Burgess, AnthonY Faingaa, Kurtley Beale.

NEW ZEALAND: Mils Muliaina, Cory Jane, Conrad Smith, Ma’a Nonu, Joe Rokocoko, Dan Carter, Jimmy Cowan; Kieran Read, Richie McCaw (captain), Jerome Kaino, Tom Donnelly, Brad Thorn, Owen Franks, Keven Mealamu, Tony Woodcock.

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

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