Smith returns to speed up All Blacks

Mon, 11 Sep 2017 12:52

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: All Blacks scrumhalf Aaron Smith will return to the side ahead of the contest with South Africa on Saturday.

Smith started the All Blacks first two Rugby Championship matches against Australia but was replaced by Thomas Perenara at scrumhalf for the 39-22 win over Argentina at the weekend.

While the All Blacks sit in front on the competition ladder, the Springboks who are are also unbeaten although held to a 23-23 draw by Australia in Perth poses  more of a threat to the side, who are learning to cope with different type of tactics opponents might throw at them.

After their recent hard-fought win over Argentina, Hansen has identified the breakdown and his side's line-speed as the troubled areas which need improvement.  

According to the mentor,  Aaron Smith's return to the side will make a huge difference and Smith's speed of delivery will benefit the side more when they meet South Africa.

"There's a difference between the speed of ball when Aaron is there," Hansen said on Sunday.

"He'll come back and that will make a difference to how we play," Hansen added.

Lock Sam Whitelock will also return to the side, while Joe Moody is set to be out for the remainder of the year after he suffered a dislocated shoulder.

When asked about Allister Coetzee's men, Hansen acknowledges the Springboks' unity makes them formidable opponents.

"South Africa are playing really well," Hansen said.

"They seem to be incredibly tight with each other, so they're obviously building something from a culture point of view and that'll make them more dangerous."

Source: @Allblacks

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