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McCaw back to lead All Blacks

02nd October 2013 17:18

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Richie McCaw leads haka

Starting: Richie McCaw

Captain Richie McCaw returns to the All Blacks starting XV for Saturday's Rugby Championship showdown with the Springboks at Ellis Park in Johannesburg.

McCaw returns from injury to play in his 120th Test but first at Ellis Park.

There are two changes to the team that beat Argentina last week with tighthead prop Charlie Faumuina replacing the injured Owen Franks, who is sidelined with a groin injury.

Sam Cane drops to the bench at the expense of Jeremy Thrush.

Amongst the replacements Dan Coles takes over from Keven Mealamu while Ben Franks fills the gap left by Faumuina.

"Playing the Springboks at Ellis Park is a challenge that this team is really looking forward to and one we are very excited about," said head coach Steve Hansen.

"We know the South Africans will come at us with their physical game but to win the Championship they will have to do that by scoring four tries so we are expecting more ball movement than we have seen in the past.

"So the answer is pretty simple for us - we will have to match their physicality and be very accurate with our execution across the park, both on attack and defensively."

New Zealand: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (captain), 6 Liam Messam, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Ben Franks, 19 Steven Luatua, 20 Sam Cane, 21 Tawera Kerr Barlow, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Charles Piutau

Date: Saturday, October 5
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Kick-off: 17:00 (15:00 GMT)
Referee: Nigel Owens
Assistant referees: John Lacey, Leighton Hodges
Television match official: Graham Hughes

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PosTeamPPts
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2South Africa619
3Australia69
4Argentina62