All Blacks back inexperienced centre for Bok Test

Jack Goodhue (Gallo Images)
Jack Goodhue (Gallo Images)

Pretoria - All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has named his team to tackle the Springboks in their Rugby Championship encounter at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

The New Zealand match-day 23 sees just two changes to the forward pack, with 102-Test prop Owen Franks back at tighthead and captain Kieran Read returning at No 8. Ofa Tu’ungafasi and Ardie Savea move to the bench as a result.

In the backline, Aaron Smith returns to the starting scrumhalf spot with TJ Perenara on the bench, while Jack Goodhue has been named at centre for his sixth Test, with Ryan Crotty to provide impact off the bench.

“Test matches between the All Blacks and Springboks are always intense and dramatic contests, and we expect this weekend will be no different,” Hansen told the All Blacks’ official website.

He added that the fact that the All Blacks had won the Rugby Championship last weekend had no bearing on this weekend.

“Nothing changes for us. It’s a Test match that everyone in New Zealand expects us to win. The fact that it’s an All Blacks-Springboks Test match makes it even more exciting and it’s one that we’re really looking forward to.

“South Africa are playing with a lot of confidence and after their two recent wins, their confidence levels will be even higher. So we’ll need to respond with real purpose, composure, belief and intensity.

“While our preparation this week has had to be slightly modified because of our travel, it has still been thorough, which should put us in good stead for Saturday.”

Kick-off is at 17:05 on Saturday.

Teams:

South Africa

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Francois Louw, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff

Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Damian Willemse

New Zealand

15 Ben Smith, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Sam Whitelock, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Karl Tu'inukuafe

Substitutes: 16 Nathan Harris, 17 Tim Perry, 18 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Richie Mo'unga, 23 Ryan Crotty

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