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All Blacks make two changes in Rugby Championship for Boks

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New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen has named an All Black team with just two changes to the side for this week’s Rugby Championship match against the Springboks.

Hansen’s two changes have both been brought on by injuries to players who played in the victory over Argentina last weekend.

Ardie Savea comes in for the injured Sam Cane in the starting 7 jersey, with Matt Todd coming into the 23 as loose forward cover; while Lima Sopoaga comes into the matchday 23, replacing Aaron Cruden, who has a groin strain.

The sides have played each other 91 times, with 53 wins to the All Blacks, 35 to South Africa and three draws. The most recent match was the 20-18 RWC semifinal last year.

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: “We’re really looking forward to Saturday’s encounter, as South Africa is one of our traditional foes. We have built up a great relationship over the last few years and respect the South Africans immensely.”

“We know they’ll be hurting and desperate to get a result after their loss on the weekend. Therefore, our personal preparation this week will have to be at the highest level – bone deep with real clarity,” he added.

“We’ve worked hard this week on improving in the areas we felt weren’t good enough last weekend. We’re confident that those areas have been addressed and our performance will be improved.

“Whilst we have been reasonably happy with our three games to date in the Rugby Championship, we are always striving for improvement and with South Africa having their backs to the wall, we know nothing but our best will be good enough. Accuracy with intensity will be paramount.”

New Zealand

1. Joe Moody , 2. Dane Coles, 3. Owen Franks, 4. Brodie Retallick , 5. Samuel Whitelock , 6. Jerome Kaino, 7. Ardie Savea, 8. Kieran Read (c), 9. Aaron Smith , 10. Beauden Barrett, 11. Julian Savea, 12. Ryan Crotty, 13. Malakai Fekitoa , 14. Israel Dagg , 15. Ben Smith ,

Replacements : 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

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