Ma'a Nonu set to win 100th All Blacks cap

New Zealand will welcome another All Black into the centurion club when Ma'a Nonu fronts up against Tonga in their final pool game.

  • Published:
Ma'a Nonu set to win 100th All Blacks cap play

Ma'a Nonu set to win 100th All Blacks cap

(Omni Sports)
24/7 Live - Subscribe to the Pulse Newsletter!

Ma'a Nonu is set to make his 100th international appearance for New Zealand when they face off against Tonga in their final Pool C game in Newcastle on Friday.

Nonu made his test debut in 2003 and will be looking to help the All Blacks make a clean sweep of the pool and secure top spot.

The centre missed New Zealand's win over Georgia last week with a shoulder injury but is set to start alongside Conrad Smith for a 59th test, extending their world record for a starting centre combination.

"On behalf of the All Blacks, we would like to congratulate Ma'a on this special milestone," All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said.

"He has been an incredibly valued member of our group for a very long time. He has been fully committed to enhancing the All Blacks jersey and the values that go with it."

Hansen has made six changes to the team that beat Georgia 43-10 last Friday, with New Zealand's progress to the quarter-finals already assured after three wins from as many games.

Captain Richie McCaw is the biggest absentee, who will be missing due to a sore hip.

"If this was the quarter-final, he would be playing" Hansen admitted.

Tonga face a tough task ahead of them, needing victory against the All Blacks to finish third in the pool and gain an automatic spot for the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

The Polynesian kingdom has caused upsets in the past, most notably against France at the 2011 World Cup.

"We know the Tongans will be very physical and bring everything to this pool match," Hansen said.

"One only has to remember their last pool match, against France in 2011, to know that if you don't turn up, they will make life difficult for you."

Tonga coach Mana Otai made just one change from their 45-16 loss to Argentina, with Latiume Fosita starting instead of Sione Piukala, meaning it will be the most experienced Tonga team to ever play at a World Cup.

New Zealand are assured to play either France or Ireland in the quarter-finals.

Do you ever witness news or have a story that should be featured on Pulse Nigeria?
Submit your stories, pictures and videos to us now via WhatsApp: +2349055172167, Social Media @pulsenigeria247: #PulseEyewitness & DM or Email: eyewitness@pulse.ng. More information here.