All Blacks change two for Bok clash
All Blacks change two for Bok clashSHARE
Richie McCaw returns to captain the All Blacks in the Rugby Championship decider against the Springboks at Ellis Park on Saturday.
As expected, McCaw returns from injury and will start in the No.7 jersey in his 120th Test with Sam Cane moving to the bench in one of two changes to the starting XV that beat Argentina 33-15 last weekend.
The other change to the run-on side sees Charlie Faumuina come on for Owen Franks, who has succumbed to a groin injury, with Ben Franks coming onto the bench, where Dane Coles replaces Keven Mealamu as reserve hooker.
With Cane moving to the bench, Jeremy Thrush drops out of the matchday 23 with the more versatile Steven Luatua retaining his place on the pine where he'll provide cover at lock. .
"Playing the Springboks at Ellis Park is a challenge that this team is really looking forward to and one we are very excited about,” said All Black head coach Steve Hansen.
“We know the South Africans will come at us with their physical game but to win the championship they will have to do that by scoring four tries so we are expecting more ball movement than we have seen in the past.
“So the answer is pretty simple for us – we will have to match their physicality and be very accurate with our execution across the park, both on attack and defensively."
New Zealand: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Richie McCaw, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Ben Franks, 19 Steven Luatua, 20 Sam Cane, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Charles Piutau.
Date: Saturday, October 5
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Kick-off: 17.00 (15.00 GMT; 04.00, Sunday, October 6, NZ time)
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: John Lacey (Ireland), Greg Garner (England)
TMO: Graham Hughes (England)