Coach Steve Hansen has made four changes to the All Blacks starting XV for Saturday’s match against the Springboks at Loftus.
Among the forwards, Owen Franks is back at tighthead prop, with Ofa Tuungafasi dropping to the bench, while Kieran Read returns at No 8 having been rested last weekend.
In the backs, Aaron Smith returns to the starting scrumhalf spot, with TJ Perenara on the bench, while Jack Goodhue has been named at outside centre, with Ryan Crotty among the substitutes. Goodhue will partner Sonny Bill Williams in the All Blacks midfield.
‘He’s playing well; not to say that Ryan’s not, but he’s playing very well and we want to see that combination of him and Sonny,’ Hansen said about Goodhue’s selection. ‘We last saw it in the French series [in June]. We know a lot about Ryan and Jack but we don’t know a lot about Sonny and Jack. All year we’ve been trying to work out what’s our best combination in that area for the future and this is an opportunity to do that.’
All Blacks – 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 (c), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Sam Whitelock, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe.
Subs: 16 Nathan Harris, 17 Tim Perry, 18 Ofa Tuungafasi, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Richie Mo’unga, 23 Ryan Crotty.
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