All Blacks drop Marshall for semi-final
The All Blacks could go into Sunday's semi-final with a relatively untried half back combination after dropping scrum half Justin Marshall in favour of Byron Kelleher.
And, with Andrew Mehrtens (pictured) still fighting a fitness battle, Tony Brown could form an inexperienced partnership with Kelleher.
Kelleher, 22, will make only his second test start while Brown won his eighth cap when he replaced Mehrtens against the Scots.
Mehrtens' knee is still bruised as a result of the injury picked up in that match, and if Brown plays Bruce Reihana will take his spot on the bench.
"I think that Mehrtens will be able to play, but I don't have any worries about the situation," said coach John Hart, who added that Brown is an able replacement.
Hart said Marshall would be a strong contender if New Zealand reached the World Cup final, and that Kelleher had been chosen to face France because it was felt his skills were better suited to halting the French.
New Zealand team:
Jeff Wilson; Tana Umaga, Christian Cullen, Alama Ieremia, Jonah Lomu;
Andrew Mehrtens or Tony Brown, Byron Kelleher; Taine Randell (capt), Josh
Kronfeld, Reuben Thorne, Robin Brooke, Norm Maxwell, Craig Dowd, Anton Oliver,
Replacements: Daryl Gibson, Tony Brown or Bruce Reihana, Justin Marshall,
Andrew Blowers, Royce Willis, Kees Meeuws, Mark Hammett