New Zealand have rung the changes for their Rugby Championship clash with South Africa this weekend, with only six survivors from the side that beat Argentina last time out.
Steve Hansen’s unfamiliar XV were 46-24 winners over the Pumas in Nelson but Beauden Barrett, Aaron Smith and the fit-again Rieko Ioane are among the star names back for Saturday’s match in Wellington.
Ben Smith is the only back to keep his place in the starting line-up, although he moves to the right wing to make way for Jordie Barrett at full-back.
As well as Ioane, who starts on the opposite wing, Sonny Bill Williams is back from an injury lay-off to take his place among the replacements.
Sam Whitelock takes over from the injured Brodie Retallick in the number-four jersey, while the All Blacks’ front row remains unchanged.
“We’ve had a good week’s preparation here in the capital focusing on what we need to bring to the game through our skillsets, the intensity of our play and our energy.
“We know that we’ll have to be at our very best in all these areas to counter an opposition we know will be desperate following their back-to-back losses.
“That means we’ll have to respond with a quality performance and a real hunger to be better. You just have to look at our last encounter in Cape Town [a 25-24 win] to understand what kind of beast we will be facing.”
The All Blacks are top of the standings after three wins from their opening three matches.
TEAM NAMING | Here is your #AllBlacks 23 to take on South Africa in Wellington this Saturday.
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) September 12, 2018
New Zealand XV to face South Africa: Jordie Barrett, Ben Smith, Anton Lienert-Brown, Ryan Crotty, Rieko Ioane, Beauden Barrett, Aaron Smith; Karl Tu’inukuafe, Codie Taylor, Owen Franks, Sam Whitelock, Scott Barrett, Liam Squire, Sam Cane, Kieran Read (captain).
Replacements: Liam Coltman, Tim Perry, Ofa Tuungafasi, Patrick Tuipulotu, Ardie Savea, TJ Perenara, Sonny Bill Williams, Damian McKenzie.
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