All Black skipper Richie McCaw will now miss Saturday’s Tri Nations encounter with Australia after failing to recovery from an ankle injury.
The Canterbury Crusaders openside had been named as an either/or for the clash in Sydney but New Zealand coach Graham Henry has confirmed that Daniel Braid will now start in the No7 shirt.
McCaw’s continued absence means fellow back row Rodney So’oialo retains the All Blacks captaincy against a Wallaby side also missing their first-choice skipper.
Stirling Mortlock’s concussion sees George Smith lead an Australian side that includes Ryan Cross in the outside centre berth and rugby league convert Timana Tahu among the replacements.
Australia vs New Zealand, Sydney, Saturday, July 26 (11.05 BST)
Australia: Ashley-Cooper, Hynes, Cross, Barnes, Tuqiri, Giteau, Burgess; Robinson, Moore, Baxter, Horwill, Sharpe, Elsom, Smith (c), Palu
Replacements: Polota-Nau, Dunning, Vickerman, Waugh, Cordingley, Tahu, Mitchell
New Zealand: Muliaina, Tuitavake, Kahui, Nonu, Sivivatu, Carter, Ellis; Woodcock, Hore, Somerville, Thorn, Williams, So’oialo (c), McCaw, Kaino
Replacements: Mealamu, Afoa, Boric, Lauaki, Cowan, Donald, Smith