New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen has made ten changes on the side and five on the bench as he seeks to extend their unbeaten run in the fourth round of The Rugby Championship.
Crusaders center Ryan Crotty has been named in All Blacks squad after departing for a concussion he suffered after a head clash with teammate Jack Goodhue in the opening match of the Southern Hemisphere against Australia.
Sonny Bill Williams return only lasted for hours as the All Blacks star was initially named on the bench to play the Springboks then scratched later on Thursday morning due to illness. The veteran center has been replaced by Jack Goodhue on the bench.
Reiko Ioane storms back to the left wing after missing last weekend’s game against Argentina due to injury while Ben Smith covers the right wing and Jordie Barrett returns in the fullback position. Aaron Smith and Beaudan Barrett have been reinstated as the halfbacks while Anton Lienert-Brown takes the outside center.
Sam Whitelock replaces injured Brodie Retallick in the number four jersey as Patrick Tuipolotu comes into the bench as lock cover for his first Test of 2018. Liam Squire and Sam Cane take the flanking roles as Liam Coltman replaces Nathan Harris as back up Hooker.
“We’ve had a good week’s preparation, focusing on what we need to bring to the game through our skill sets, the intensity of our play and our energy,” Hansen said.
The unbeaten All Blacks lead the Rugby Championship with 15 points from three bonus-point wins as South Africa, Argentina, and Australia have one win each, with South Africa second on the table courtesy of two bonus points.
When the All Blacks last played South Africa, in Cape Town last year, they scraped home 25-24 to complete a clean sweep of the championship, after comfortably winning the first leg 57-0 in New Zealand.
?️ TEAM NAMING | Here is your #AllBlacks 23 to take on South Africa in Wellington this Saturday.
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) September 12, 2018