Ardie to front Boks

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has made just one forced change to his starting side with flanker Ardie Savea coming in for the injured Sam Cane.

Hansen has neglected to make any unforced changes following the All Blacks' 57-22 win against Argentina in Hamilton. Savea will win his first Test start against the Springboks in Christchurch this Saturday. Matt Todd will take Savea's place on the bench, while flyhalf Lima Sopoaga will replace Aaron Cruden among the reserves due to the latter's struggle with a groin injury.

The Boks have lost their last two matches. Following a disappointing performance in the 23-17 defeat to the Wallabies in Brisbane, not many are expecting the South Africans to record a big upset victory against the All Blacks in Christchurch.

Hansen, however, has instructed his All Blacks charges to take nothing for granted.

'We have worked hard this week on improving in the areas we felt weren't good enough last weekend [against Argentina],' he said. 'We are confident that those areas have been addressed and our performance will be improved.

'With South Africa having their backs to the wall, we know nothing but our best will be good enough. Accuracy will be paramount.'

All Blacks – 15 Ben Smith, 14 Israel Dagg, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Joe Moody.
Subs: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Matt Todd, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Lima Sopoaga, 23 Anton Lienert-Brown.

Photo: Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images

Post by

Jon Cardinelli