All Blacks v Springboks, Westpac Stadium, Wellington

Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus made three changes to his starting side and one positional switch ahead of their Rugby Championship match against the All Blacks in Wellington on Saturday.

Centre Jesse Kriel moves to the right wing in the place of injured Makazole Mampimpi who returned to South Africa already. He was injured during last weekend’s match against Australia. Lukhanyo Am will move to outside centre in the place of Kriel.

Handre Pollard has been brought back in the place of Elton Jantjies who drops to the bench.

In the forwards the only change is hooker Malcolm Marx replacing Bongi Mbonambi who will keep the bench warm.

Another change on the bench is scrumhalf Ross Cronje replacing Embrose Papier.

The All Blacks in the meantime brought back their big guns for the Springbok clash. There are ten changes to the run-on side and five on the bench.

Centre Ryan Crotty, loose forward Sam Cane and wing Rieko Ioane all made the starting XV after missing last week due to injuries.

Scrumhalf Aaron Smith and Beauden Barrett are reunited as the halfback pairing, while outside Anton Lienert-Brown is also in the starting XV. Ben Smith will accommodate the right wing to make place for Jordie Barrett at fullback.

Lock Sam Whitelock moves into the number four jersey, while Brodie Retallick will not play due to injury. Patrick Tuipulotu will be the cover for lock on the bench. Liam Colton replaces Nathan Harris as the backup hooker.

For the South Africans Handre Pollard will have to make a massive step up from his first few Rugby Championship games. Faf de Klerk and Willie le Roux also have a lot to prove after a few poor performances of late.

The ball carriers will have to be protected extremely well as the Kiwi’s strive on turn over ball. Hopefully we see a Springbok side playing more to their strength of forward dominance as their backline don’t have the fire power the All Blacks have.

Teams:

New Zealand

15 Jordie Barrett; 14 Ben Smith, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Rieko Ioane; 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith; 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Squire; 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Sam Whitelock; 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe.

Substitutes: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Tim Perry, 18 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Jack Goodhue, 23 Damian McKenzie

South Africa

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Jesse Kriel 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley, 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 Beast Mtawarira, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Francois Louw, 21 Ross Cronjé, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Cheslin Kolbe

Prediction – All Blacks by 20

Written by Carl Coertzen – 14/09/18

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