Kieran Read returns for All Blacks

Kieran Read will make his long-awaited return for the All Blacks after being named in the starting XV for the third Test against England in Hamitlon.

The No.8 and current IRB Player of the year missed the first two Tests in Auckland and Dunedin being sidelined with a concussion he suffered over two months ago.

He returned to action for the Crusaders in the Super Rugby a week before the first Test but the All Blacks staff puled him out after symptoms reappeared.

He takes over from Jerome Kaino who moves to blindside with Liam Messam dropping to the bench.

The other change to the starting XV see Malakai Fekitoa get his first Test start with Conrad Smith out injured.

New Zealand have already wrapped up the Series following their two narrow wins the past two weeks but another win could see the All Blacks claim their fourth consecutive whitewash against Northern Hemisphere nations.

Head coach Steve Hansen: ”Whilst we felt we improved from the first Test to the second, there are areas of our game we want to improve on and that has been the focus for us this week.

“We enjoy playing in Hamilton and in front of a sold-out Waikato Stadium we are looking forward to producing a quality performance that we can all be proud of.”

New Zealand: Ben Smith; Cory Jane, Malakai Fekitoa, Ma’a Nonu, Julian Savea; Aaron Cruden, Aaron Smith; Tony Woodcock, Dane Coles, Owen Franks; Brodie Retallick, Samuel Whitelock; Jerome Kaino, Richie McCaw (Capt.), Kieran Read.

Replacements: Keven Mealamu, Wyatt Crockett, Charlie Faumuina, Patrick Tuipulotu, Liam Messam, TJ Perenara, Beauden Barrett, Ryan Crotty.

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