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All Blacks recall Carter, Weepu

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen has named Daniel Carter and Piri Weepu in his squad.

Blues and All Blacks scrumhalf Piri Weepu. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

AUCKLAND - New Zealand have recalled fit-again flyhalf Daniel Carter and scrumhalf Piri Weepu for the third and final test against France in New Plymouth on Saturday.

With the series in the bag after victories in Auckland and Christchurch, All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen also brought in Rene Ranger on the wing, while giving blindside flanker Victor Vito his first start of the year at Yarrow Stadium.

"While the series has been won, we certainly won't be underestimating the French in this final match," Hansen said in a statement.

"We have put a full stop in last weekend's performance and expecting further improvement from ourselves, and another hard, physical contest from the French," said Hansen, who is ramping up the rebuilding process for the team's World Cup defence in 2015.

Carter missed the first two tests with a broken hand and returns to give Aaron Cruden a much-needed rest.

Weepu is back after suffering concussion in the Auckland Blues' Super Rugby defeat to the Otago Highlanders in Dunedin earlier this month.

Hooker Dane Coles will miss the match with a calf strain and has been replaced by Andrew Hore. Keven Mealamu is the reserve hooker.

Charles Piutau was one of three new caps named on the bench.

New Zealand followed up a hard-fought 23-13 win in the opening match with a comprehensive 30-0 victory in the second.

New Zealand: 15-Israel Dagg, 14-Ben Smith, 13-Conrad Smith, 12-Ma'a Nonu, 11-Rene Ranger, 10-Daniel Carter, 9-Piri Weepu, 8-Kieran Read (captain), 7-Sam Cane, 6-Victor Vito, 5-Samuel Whitelock, 4-Luke Romano, 3-Owen Franks, 2-Andrew Hore, 1-Wyatt Crockett.

Replacements: 16-Keven Mealamu, 17-Tony Woodcock, 18-Ben Franks, 19-Steven Luatua, 20-Matt Todd, 21-Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22-Beauden Barrett, 23-Charles Piutau.

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