Rugby Championship

Massive test for All Blacks - Hansen

2015-07-23 10:35
Steve Hansen (Gallo)

Cape Town - All Black coach Steve Hansen says his players are relishing the prospect of facing the Springboks in Johannesburg on Saturday.

The All Blacks lost to the Boks there last year, after a late long-range penalty from Pat Lambie, and will be eager to regain revenge on their old rivals.

"This is a massive Test for us and one the whole group is looking forward to,” Hansen said at a press conference on Thursday. "It doesn't get much bigger or better than playing South Africa at Ellis Park. Both teams have a massive amount of respect for each other, both on and off the paddock.

"We know that we will have to step up again this week from our performance against Argentina. Though we were happier with our game last weekend, there is a genuine desire to take it up a level. The Springboks will be desperate after their loss last week and we will have to better that desperation with our own urgency, intensity and accuracy in the execution of our game and skill-sets."

Hansen named flyhalf Lima Sopoaga and lock James Broadhurst in his starting line-up and the duo will make their Test debuts.

Sopoaga comes in for Dan Carter at flyhalf, while Broadhurst takes over from Luke Romano in the second row.

In other changes to the starting XV, Dane Coles comes in at hooker with Liam Messam at blindside flank.

In the backline, Aaron Smith returns to start at scrumhalf, while Ma'a Nonu and Conrad Smith are back in midfield.

Ben Smith is named on the right wing, as Hansen continues his desire to give Israel Dagg more game time at fullback.

On the bench, Ben Franks comes in as reserve prop alongside Wyatt Crockett, Codie Taylor retains the reserve hooker jersey, Sam Whitelock is reserve lock, with Victor Vito covering the loose forwards.

TJ Perenara is reserve scrumhalf, with Beauden Barrett and Malakai Fekitoa the other backline reserves.

Broadhurst and Sopoaga will be surrounded by a hugely experienced All Blacks side, with the starting forward pack boasting exactly 500 Test caps experience, with a further 320 caps in the starting backline and 217 on the bench.

Kick-off for Saturday’s clash is scheduled for 17:05.


South Africa:

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Schalk Burger (captain), 7 Francois Louw, 6 Heinrich Brussow, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Flip van der Merwe, 20 Warren Whiteley, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Lionel Mapoe

New Zealand:

15 Israel Dagg, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Charles Piutau, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (captain), 6 Liam Messam, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Tony Woodcock

Substitutes: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Ben Franks, 19 Sam Whitelock, 20 Victor Vito, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Malakai Fekitoa


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