Ma'a Nonu wins 100th All Blacks cap

Veteran centre Ma'a Nonu returns from a shoulder injury to win his 100th Test cap on Friday night in the All Blacks' final Rugby World Cup Pool C match against Tonga.

Nonu will become the sixth New Zealander to reach a centenary of Test caps, and he will do so alongside three other of those centurions in Dan Carter, Tony Woodcock and Keven Mealamu.

But the defending champions will be without the other of those milestone men still featuring at Test level, with skipper Richie McCaw to miss the fixture due to a sore hip.

"On behalf of the All Blacks, we would like to congratulate Ma'a on this special milestone," All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said. "He has been an incredibly valued member of our group for a very long time. He has been fully committed to enhancing the All Blacks jersey and the values that go with it.

"He plays a special part within the group and loves this team. He and his family will be very proud of everything he's achieved, as we all are of him. We look forward to celebrating his achievement on Friday night."

Aside from McCaw, lock Brodie Retallick and winger Julian Savea, Hansen has named an otherwise first-string side for the clash at Newcastle's St James' Park.

Luke Romano will partner Sam Whitelock in the second-row in place of Retallick while Sam Cane slots in at No.7 for McCaw. Savea, meanwhile, has been given the week off after scoring a hat-trick against Georgia last Friday; Waisake Naholo has switched from the right wing to the left to plug that hole while Nehe Milner-Skudder assumes the No.14 jersey.

"We've had a very heavy workload in the last two weeks on the training pitch and a couple of very physical games, which has been great," Hansen said. "But this week we've been looking to freshen the group up and really concentrate on the key parts of our game that we expect will deliver a quality, 80-minute performance on Friday night. We're now getting to an exciting part of the competition -- one game out from knockout footy.

"We know the Tongans will be very physical and bring everything to this final pool match. They're a proud nation who we've faced on a number of occasions. One only has to remember their last pool match against France in 2011 to know that if you don't turn up, they will make life difficult for you."

Kieran Read will captain the side in McCaw's absence.

New Zealand:

Ben Smith, Nehe Milner-Skudder, Conrad Smith, Ma'a Nonu, Waisake Naholo, Dan Carter, Aaron Smith; Kieran Read, Sam Cane, Jerome Kaino, Sam Whitelock, Luke Romano, Owen Franks, Dane Coles, Tony Woodcock.

Replacements: Keven Mealamu, Wyatt Crockett, Ben Franks, Brodie Retallick, Liam Messam, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Beauden Barrett, Sonny Bill Williams.