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All Blacks change Gear for Boks

Thu, 04 Oct 2012 07:04
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It's going to be a huge Test match
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New Zealand have made two changes to their starting XV for the final round Rugby Championship Test against South Africa in Soweto on Saturday.

Having already clinched the title in the inaugural year of the expanded Southern Hemisphere championship, the All Blacks brought in lock Brodie Retallick and wing Hosea Gear for Luke Romano and Julian Savea.

Romano drops to the bench, while try-scoring left wing Savea is out of the matchday 22 altogether.

On the bench prop Ben Franks, loose forward Adam Thomson and outside back Tamati Ellison replace Charlie Faumuina, Sam Cane and Ben Smith.

World Cup champions New Zealand has won 15 straight Tests and last lost in August last year - in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

All Black coach Steve Hansen said they are in no doubt how big the challenge is for the team this weekend.

"It is one we are looking forward to as it will be a real test of our resolve and character," Hansen said.

"South Africa are coming off a big win against Australia and will be playing in front of their home crowd at Soweto so it's going to be a huge Test match," he added.

New Zealand: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (captain), 6 Liam Messam, 5 Samuel Whitelock , 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Luke Romano, 19 Adam Thomson, 20 Piri Weepu, 21 Aaron Cruden, 22 Tamati Ellison.

Date: Saturday, October 6
Venue: Soccer City, Soweto
Kick-off: 17.00 (15.00 GMT)
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Romain Poite (France), Greg Garner (England)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

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