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Hansen change four

Steve Hansen

New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen has made four changes to his starting XV for Saturday’s Rugby Championship Test with South Africa in Pretoria.

There are two changes to the pack, with 102-Test prop Owen Franks back at tighthead prop and All Blacks captain Kieran Read returning at number eight. This means Ofa Tuungafasi and Ardie Savea moves to the replacements bench.

In the backs, Aaron Smith returns to the starting scrum-half spot with TJ Perenara on the bench, while Jack Goodhue has been named at outside centre for his sixth Test, with Ryan Crotty to provide impact off the bench in the number 23 jersey.

Hansen said: “Test matches between the All Blacks and Springboks are always intense and dramatic contests, and we expect this weekend will be no different.

He added that the fact that the All Blacks had won the Rugby Championship last weekend had no bearing on this weekend.

“Nothing changes for us,” he said.

“It’s a Test match that everyone in New Zealand expects us to win. The fact that it’s an All Blacks-Springboks Test match makes it even more exciting and it’s one that we’re really looking forward to.

“South Africa are playing with alot of confidence and after their two recent wins, their confidence levels will be even higher. So we’ll need to respond with real purpose, composure, belief and intensity.

“While our preparation this week has had to be slightly modified because of our travel, it has still been thorough, which should put us in good stead for Saturday.”

New Zealand: 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 Samuel Whitelock, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe
Replacements: 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


  1. I thought they might just keep the same front-row after scrumming the Argies’ heads up their arses… but it is Franks after all and rested…

  2. The big difference is the two beasts on the wing – naholo and ioane.

    If Boks think defense is going to win this , no chance. You don’t give these guys ball to run at you. Beat them upfront and take the the game to them.

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