New Zealand’s XV features just two injury-enforced changes from the team that won the Rugby Championship against Argentina.
New Zealand’s XV features just two injury-enforced changes from the team that won the Rugby Championship against Argentina last week.
Both are in the forwards: prop Joe Moody will make his first Test start, coming in for Wyatt Crockett, while lock Jeremy Thrush gets his second start against South Africa this year, replacing Brodie Retallick.
On the reserves bench, Dane Coles returns after re-joining the team in South Africa following the birth of his son, with Charlie Faumuina, Steven Luatua and Liam Messam also coming onto the bench.
In the back reserves, Tawera Kerr-Barlow gets his first opportunity in the Rugby Championship while Ryan Crotty comes in for Cory Jane who has a hamstring strain.
“This weekend is shaping up to be another classic All Blacks-Springboks Test match with the two top teams in the world going head to head again on the Boks’ home patch,” said All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen.
“Even though we have won the Rugby Championship, this is the game we always look forward to playing each year. It’s a massive challenge which will be spurred on by a huge amount of personal and team pride.
“This group has always believed that enhancing the legacy of the All Blacks is one of its overriding responsibilities, so we will be looking to put in another quality performance on the park.
“However, we know we will be up against a desperate and determined South African team who will be under a lot of pressure to win, which will make them a very dangerous and formidable opponent.”
New Zealand: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Malakai Fekitoa, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (c), 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Joe Moody
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Steven Luatua, 20 Liam Messam, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Colin Slade, 23 Ryan Crotty
Date: Saturday, October 4
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Kick-off: 17:00 (local, 15:00 GMT)
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant Referees: Pascal Gauz