Carter to play against Pumas

Dan Carter has been included in the All Blacks squad to take on Argentina in the Rugby Championship.

All Blacks and Crusaders rugby player, Dan Carter. Picture: AFP

BUENOS AIRES - New Zealand will field their preferred halfback pairing of Dan Carter and Aaron Smith against Argentina in the Rugby Championship on Saturday.

Coach Steve Hansen brought the duo back into the side he named on Thursday for the match in La Plata after they missed the last test at home to South Africa.

Carter has recovered from a calf injury that kept him out of the home matches against both the Pumas and the Springboks while Smith returns after being dropped to the bench against South Africa for indiscipline.

"I've only had one chance to play against the Pumas, back in 2006 in Buenos Aires, so I'm very excited about playing against a team I don't know a lot about, it's a very different challenge to what I'm used to," Carter said at the team announcement.

Carter missed New Zealand's World Cup quarter-final against the Pumas last year.

The All Blacks, who have won their four matches so far, can clinch the title with a victory over Argentina regardless of the result between the Springboks and Wallabies in Pretoria.

Hansen made four changes to his bench including dropped halfbacks Aaron Cruden and Piri Weepu.

Team: 15-Israel Dagg, 14-Cory Jane, 13-Conrad Smith, 12-Ma'a Nonu, 11-Julian Savea, 10-Dan Carter, 9-Aaron Smith; 8-Kieran Read, 7-Richie McCaw (captain), 6-Liam Messam, 5-Sam Whitelock, 4-Luke Romano, 3-Owen Franks, 2-Andrew Hore, 1-Tony Woodcock

Replacements: 16-Keven Mealamu, 17-Charlie Faumuina, 18-Brodie Retallick, 19-Sam Cane, 20-Piri Weepu, 21-Aaron Cruden, 22-Ben Smith