Cane returns as captain, NZ keep big guns for Uruguay clash

Sam Cane will return as All Blacks captain in their final World Cup Pool A game against Uruguay in Lyon on Friday, when a bonus-point win would guarantee New Zealand a spot in the knockout rounds.

Coach Ian Foster made nine changes to the starting side that thrashed Italy 96-17 at the same venue last weekend, resting regular starters such as Ardie Savea, Aaron Smith and Rieko Ioane ahead of the quarter-finals.

"It is a short turnaround from our last game against Italy but being able to play in Lyon for back-to-back games has helped with our preparation," Foster said.

"We are confident in the direction we are heading so it's now about putting out another solid performance and growing our game."

Lock Sam Whitelock will make his 150th test appearance in the starting second row along with Tupou Vaa'i, having surpassed Richie McCaw as the most-capped All Black as a replacement against Italy.

Leicester Fainga'nuku is back on the wing after missing the Italy game and starting against Namibia while halfback Cam Roigard gets his second World Cup start.

Foster said centre David Havili, who has a hamstring issue, was the only player not available because of injury and Fainga'anuku would cover the midfield if necessary.

Foster said despite all the changes that he was not underestimating the threat Uruguay posed.

"The challenge of World Cups is that you've got to make sure that you're prepared for the here and now, with an eye to the future," he added.

"But there's enough challenges in the here and now. I think Uruguay represents some pretty significant challenges in many areas of the game that perhaps we have to get better at for the future anyway."

Tyrel Lomax comes back into the front row at tighthead prop after returning off the bench against Italy having missed the opening 27-13 loss to pool leaders France and 71-3 win over Namibia with a nasty gash to his leg that required 30 stitches.

Cane also came off the bench after a back problem last week and his return to the starting side means Dalton Papali'i drops out with Ethan Blackadder, a squad injury replacement for winger Emoni Narawa, covering the loose forwards from the bench.

Blindside flanker Shannon Frizell gets another run out after a good showing against Italy on his return from a hamstring strain, while Damian McKenzie has a rare start at fullback with Beauden Barrett benched.

Jordie Barrett keeps the family name in the starting lineup, however, after being selected in the midfield with Anton Leinart-Brown after making his comeback from a knee problem with a standout performance in the Italy drubbing.