BREAKING: All Blacks make big change at flyhalf for Boks rematch
The All Blacks have made four changes to their starting lineup, including a key change at flyhalf, for Saturday’s Test against the Boks.
Ethan de Groot, Tyrel Lomax, Shannon Frizell and Richie Mo’unga all come into the All Blacks’ starting lineup for a crucial Rugby Championship clash on Saturday, with the latter taking over from Beauden Barrett, who moves to the bench.
EXCLUSIVE | ANTHEM SINGERS FOR ELLIS PARK TEST CONFIRMED!
Will Jordan has recovered from a stomach bug, while Jordie Barrett retains his place at fullback after recovering from an ankle injury.
Uncapped tighthead prop Fletcher Newell has been introduced to the match-day 23 as front row cover, while props Ethan de Groot and Tyrel Lomax have been named in the run-on side. They are joined by hooker Samisoni Taukeiaho, while 69-Test veteran Codie Taylor returns to the match-day 23 as cover.
Blindside flanker Shannon Frizell has also been moved into the run-on side after being used as an impact player during the first Test in Mbombela, marking his 14th appearance in the number six jersey. In the back row, he is joined by Ardie Savea and captain Sam Cane who will surpass Jerome Kaino (81) as the third-most capped All Black loose forward in Tests.
The only change made to the backline is at flyhalf. Mo’unga will run out in the number 10 jersey for the first time this season, as he closes in on Carlos Spencer (291) for sixth place on the All Blacks’ all-time points-scoring list.
“Belief and confidence remain high in our group, which is working incredibly hard this week,” said Foster. “Playing at Ellis Park is always a special occasion for any All Black team, and this weekend will be no different.
“Adding to that, the Freedom Cup is on the line which makes this a challenge that everyone is looking forward to.”
READ | ALL BLACKS PROP EXPLAINS HOW SPRINGBOKS CHEAT AT SCRUM-TIME
READ | KURT-LEE ARENDSE BANNED FOR 4 WEEKS
SPRINGBOK RECORD AGAINST ALL BLACKS
– Played 102; Won 38; Lost 60; Drawn 4; Points for: 1 651; Points against: 2 108, Tries scored 158; Tries conceded 230; Highest score 46-40 in Johannesburg (2000); Biggest win 17-0 in Durban, 1928. Win % 37%
READ | RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP REFEREES: HERE’S WHO’LL OFFICIATE THE BOKS
– The total Test caps in the Springbok starting line-up is 715
– There are 257 caps in the backline with 458 caps among the forwards. On the bench there are a further 334 caps
– The average number of caps per player in the backline is 36, the forwards 57, while the players on the bench average 41
PICTURE | FORMER SPRINGBOK SHOCKINGLY ASSAULTED AFTER MBOMBELA TEST
15 Damian Willemse (Stormers), 14 Jesse Kriel (Canon Eagles), 13 Lukhanyo Am (Sharks), 12 Damian de Allende (Wild Knights), 11 Makazole Mapimpi (Sharks), 10 Handre Pollard (Leicester Tigers), 9 Jaden Hendrikse (Sharks), 8 Duane Vermeulen (Ulster), 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit (Toyota Verblitz), 6 Siya Kolisi (captain, Sharks), 5 Lood de Jager (Wild Knights), 4 Eben Etzebeth (Sharks), 3 Frans Malherbe (Stormers), 2 Joseph Dweba (Stormers), 1 Ox Nche (Sharks)
Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears), 17 Steven Kitshoff (Stormers), 18 Vincent Koch (Wasps), 19 Franco Mostert (Honda Heat), 20 Jasper Wiese (Leicester Tigers), 21 Kwagga Smith (Shizuoka Blue Revs), 22 Hershel Jantjies (Stormers), 23 Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz)