All Blacks change 13 for Scotland - arrogant or practical?

Colin Slade
Colin Slade will play against Scotland on the wing as New Zealand ring the changes
©Press Association

The All Blacks have made a stunning 13 changes to their team to play Scotland with only captain Richie McCaw and outside back Ben Smith starting from the team that beat England.

The amazing thing is that those two players have switched positions too! Dan Carter is back in the Number 10 jersey.

Most All Blacks fans think that this team can still beat Scotland, although hopefully it gels with usual first five eighth Colin Slade starting on the wing, while McCaw starts in the Number Six jersey for the first time, allowing Sam Cane to start.

ALL BLACKS: Ben Smith, Colin Slade, Malakai Fekitoa, Ryan Crotty, Charles Piutau, Dan Carter, TJ Perenara, Victor Vito, Sam Cane, Richie McCaw, Dominic Bird, Jeremy Thrush, Charlie Faumuina, James Parsons, Joe Moody.

Reserves: Dane Coles, Wyatt Crockett, Ben Franks, Luke Romano, Liam Messam, Augustine Pulu, Sonny Bill Williams, Julian Savea.

The bench has a funny look about it with no specialist first five eighth, this leaves Colin Slade to cover first five eighth, while James Parsons gets a start at hooker in his debut. He really has come up the pecking order and was helped by playing for the Barbarians which coincided with the injury to Nathan Harris.

Is this a return to the Sir Graham Henry days? Steve Hansen has been far more conservative with his selections and with the exception of the test match against the USA, has tended to only make minor tweaks to the All Blacks.  

The All Blacks have never lost to Scotland and this team shouldn't, but I don't think this will be as one sided as it might have been with a full strength All Blacks team. Maybe the All Blacks frontline players needed a rest at the end of the year, with only one more match after this one. Hansen is trying to replicate a Rugby World Cup where it is difficult to use the same 23 players for every game.

What do you think of this All Blacks team? I didn't expect as many changes as this. It will be interesting to see how this team gels.

Colin Slade on the wing? That shows how much depth there is at first five eighth, with Beauden Barrett and Aaron Cruden not required for this game.

The Scotland team has a good forward pack and useful backs including former Canterbury and Crusaders wing Sean Maitland, will the All Blacks be their usual clinical selves?

Is this team arrogant or practical?

I think it is practical as this is a dress rehearsal for the Rugby World Cup. This is still a good team, even without some of the missing stars.