Savea gets the nod for All Blacks

Date published: September 14 2016

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The All Blacks have made two changes to their side to play the Springboks in Christchurch on Saturday.

Ardie Savea comes in for the injured Sam Cane in the starting seven jersey, with Matt Todd coming into the 23 as loose forward cover, while Lima Sopoaga replaces Aaron Cruden, who has a groin strain.

All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen said: "We’re really looking forward to Saturday’s encounter, as South Africa is one of our traditional foes. We have built up a great relationship over the last few years and respect the South Africans immensely."

"We know they’ll be hurting and desperate to get a result after their loss on the weekend. Therefore, our personal preparation this week will have to be at the highest level – bone deep with real clarity," he added.

"We’ve worked hard this week on improving in the areas we felt weren’t good enough last weekend. We’re confident that those areas have been addressed and our performance will be improved.

"Whilst we have been reasonably happy with our three games to date in the Rugby Championship, we are always striving for improvement and with South Africa having their backs to the wall, we know nothing but our best will be good enough.

"Accuracy with intensity will be paramount."

New Zealand: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Israel Dagg, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Joe Moody
Replacements: 16 James Parsons, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Matt Todd, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Lima Sopoaga, 23 Anton Lienert-Brown

Date: Saturday, September 17
Venue: AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Kick-off: 19:35 local (07:35 GMT)
Referee: Angus Gardiner
Assistant Referees: Pascal Gauzere, Marius Mitrea
TMO: George Ayoub

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