Sopoaga and Broadhurst get AB nods

Date published: July 23 2015

Lima Sopoaga and James Broadhurst will make their All Black debuts against South Africa after being named to start in Johannesburg.

Sopoaga comes in for Daniel Carter at fly-half while Broadhurst takes over from Luke Romano in the second row as Steve Hansen makes a total of seven changes to his starting line-up. 

In other changes in the starting XV, Dane Coles comes in at hooker with Liam Messam at blindside flanker. In the backs, Aaron Smith returns to the starting scrum-half position, while the world-record midfield combo of Ma'a Nonu and Conrad Smith is back. As well, with a desire to continue to give Israel Dagg more game time, Ben Smith is named on the right wing but there is no place for Julian Savea in the matchday squad.

On the bench, Ben Franks comes in as reserve prop alongside Wyatt Crockett, Codie Taylor retains the reserve hooker jersey, Sam Whitelock is the replacement lock, with Victor Vito covering the loose forwards. TJ Perenara drops to the bench and joins Beauden Barrett and Malakai Fekitoa the other back replacements.

Broadhurst and Sopoaga will be surrounded by a hugely experienced All Blacks side, with the starting forward pack boasting exactly 500 Test caps experience, with a further 320 caps in the starting backline and 217 on the bench.

All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen said: "This is a massive Test for us and one the whole group is looking forward to. It doesn't get much bigger or better than playing South Africa at Ellis Park. Both teams have a massive amount of respect for each other, both on and off the paddock.

"We know that we will have to step up again this week from our performance against Argentina. Though we were happier with our game last weekend, there is a genuine desire to take it up a level. 

"The Springboks will be desperate after their loss last week and we will have to better that desperation with our own urgency, intensity and accuracy in the execution of our game and skillsets."

New Zealand: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Charles Piutau, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (c), 6 Liam Messsam, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Tony Woodcock
Replacements: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Ben Franks, 19 Sam Whitelock, 20 Victor Vito, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Malakai Fekitoa

Date: Saturday, 25 July
Venue: Emirates Airlines Park (Ellis Park), Johannesburg
Kick-off: 17:05 local (15:05 GMT, 12:05 ART, 01:05 AEST, 03:05 NZST)
Referee: Jérôme Garcès
Assistant Referees: Romain Poite, Leighton Hodges
TMO: Graham Hughes