TOKYO, 30 Oct - Kieran Read will lead New Zealand for the last time on Friday in the bronze final match against Wales and there will be a chance for a group of other distinguished All Blacks to bow out on a high in what is bound to be an emotional occasion at Tokyo Stadium.

On the night Steve Hansen coaches the team for one final time, he has selected his great captain Read for a 127th cap as the number eight heads a powerful-looking All Blacks team, which has seven changes from the starting XV that lost to England in the semi-finals.

Ben Smith, one of the great full-backs in modern rugby, and Ryan Crotty, a fine midfield warrior for the All Blacks, have both been given starts in what will be their last games for their country.

Sonny Bill Williams, above, who has been used as an impact replacement off the bench in his other matches at RWC2019, earns his second start in what is also widely expected to be the centre’s farewell to international rugby union.

Flanker Matt Todd, back after a shoulder injury, has been given a place on the bench as he also prepares for his swansong in black.

All these players will be moving on to new stages of their career after this game, with Read, Crotty and Todd all moving to play club rugby in Japan and Smith going to France to play in the Top 14 for Pau.

Hansen, in his 107th match in charge, is so determined to bow out in style in his farewell match that he has selected a team that is designed to ensure the All Blacks’ 66-year winning streak against Wales continues.

The most striking changes come in the backline with the recall of the prolific Rieko Ioane and Smith on the wings, instead of the more youthful combination of Sevu Reece and George Bridge he has used as his No.1 combination.

The 33-year-old Smith has played most of his international career at full-back but has been selected on the wing for his 84th and last cap, with Beauden Barrett retained at full-back and Richie Mo’unga again at fly-half as Hansen sticks with his dual playmakers who were blunted by England’s superb defence in the Rugby World Cup semi-final.

An injury to Ardie Savea in the back-row has given an opportunity to Shannon Frizell to earn the blindside start.

New Zealand

1. Joe Moody
2. Dane Coles
3. Nepo Laulala
4. Brodie Retallick
5. Scott Barrett
6. Shannon Frizell
7. Sam Cane
8. Kieran Read (capt.)
9. Aaron Smith
10. Richie Mo'unga
11. Rieko Ioane
12. Sonny Bill Williams
13. Ryan Crotty
14. Ben Smith
15. Beauden Barrett

16. Liam Coltman
17. Atu Moli
18. Angus Ta'avao
19. Patrick Tuipulotu
20. Matt Todd
21. Brad Weber
22. Anton Lienert-Brown
23. Jordie Barrett

RNS ic/ajr