All Black big guns come out for Boks

Thu, 05 Oct 2017 06:24

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The five All Blacks who travelled to South Africa early have all been named in the matchday 23 to face the Springboks at Newlands on Saturday.

The Boks host the All Blacks in their final Rugby Championship Test of the year, hoping to make amends for the record 0-57 loss they suffered in Albany last month.

Samuel Whitelock returns to the second row alongside Scott Barrett, Liam Squire is at blindside flank and Sam Cane is at openside, with Matt Todd moving to the bench.

In the backs, Ryan Crotty has been named at centre, while Nehe Milner-Skudder is on the right wing.

Tawera Kerr-Barlow has been named at reserve scrumhalf, while Lima Sopoaga provides additional back cover alongside David Havili.

"We've settled in well in Cape Town this week," All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said.

"However, our preparation has been different because of the need to recover well from all the travel.  

"This has meant that there's been less time on the park and an even greater emphasis than normal on the mental side of our preparation.

"As always, getting real clarity of our roles and how we want to play has been key.

"We know we'll be playing a proud Springbok side which will be determined to rectify what happened in Albany.  

"While it's necessary for us to try and anticipate what they're going to bring to the match, it's more important for us to focus on what we're going to bring to the encounter.

"Our skill execution, our physicality and our ability to play our 'triple threat' game will be critical.

"The team is really looking forward to playing at Newlands after a nine-year absence.  

"We know we have a huge fan base here and the hospitality and reception we have received from the local folks has been fantastic.  

"We look forward to their support, as well as the support of all our New Zealand and global fans, come Saturday."

New Zealand: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 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 Nepo Laulala, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Kane Hames.
Replacements: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Matt Todd, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Lima Sopoaga, 23 David Havili.

Date: Saturday, October 7
Venue: Newlands, Cape Town
Kick-off: 17.05 (15.05 GMT; 03.05, Sunday, October 8, NZ time)
Referee: Jérôme Garcès (France)
Assistant referees: Romain Poite (France), Shuhei Kubo (Japan)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)

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Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
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Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
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Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
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Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
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