Carter back, Saili in for All Blacks
Dan Carter of New Zealand kicks a penalty during the third rugby union match between the New Zealand All Blacks and France at Yarrow stadium in New Plymouth on June 22, 2013. Francis Saili's extended wait to make his All Blacks debut will finally end on Saturday when he partners returning flyhalf Carter against Argentina in the Rugby Championship Test in Hamilton.
Saili, who has been in the All Blacks squad since June but not played in any of the five Tests in the three months since, will make his bow between 95-Test veteran Carter and experienced outside centre Conrad Smith.
The 22-year-old Auckland Blues back with impressive attacking skills replaces the injured Ma'a Nonu in one of three changes to the All Blacks side that beat Australia in their last outing two weeks ago.
Carter, who has suffered an injury-plagued year and did not feature in either of the two winning Tests against Australia, returns to the number 10 position with prop Charlie Faumuina coming in for Owen Franks, who has a calf strain.
"With Ma'a's ongoing niggly ankle we have taken the opportunity to rest him and introduce Francis to international rugby," coach Steve Hansen said of the 17th player he has brought into Test rugby since the All Blacks won the World Cup two years ago.
"We have complete faith in his ability to do the job. He is a very exciting, young player who has a multi-talented skillset that should suit Test rugby."
Changes on the bench for the All Blacks see Beauden Barrett return from injury to replace Colin Slade while prop Ben Franks joins the replacements following Faumuina's promotion to the starting line-up.
Carter, the world's leading Test points scorer, requires just one more point to become the first player to reach 1,400 in Tests.
Argentina have never beaten the All Blacks and lost their opening two Rugby Championship Tests against the Springboks.
But the way they improved from a 73-13 hiding in South Africa in the first encounter to a narrow 22-17 loss in the rematch in Argentina a week later has Hansen wary.
"We are expecting a very physical encounter but also one that will see them use the flair and talent of their backline," he said.
"As always, we have put a huge focus on our preparation and we know that anything less will not be good enough to get the performance that we are looking for."
New Zealand (15-1) - Israel Dagg, Ben Smith, Conrad Smith, Francis Saili, Julian Savea; Dan Carter, Aaron Smith; Kieran Read, Richie McCaw (captain), Steven Luatua; Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick; Charlie Faumuina, Andrew Hore, Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: Dane Coles, Wyatt Crockett, Ben Franks, Jeremy Thrush, Sam Cane, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Beauden Barrett, Charles Piutau.