All Blacks make five changes for 'special' Springboks showdown

All Blacks make five changes for 'special' Springboks showdown

All Blacks head coach Ian Foster brought in Will Jordan as part of five changes to his starting line-up for Saturday's Rugby Championship showdown with South Africa in Auckland.

Ian Foster

The pacy Jordan -- who has 21 tries in 21 Tests -- and Mark Telea are named on the wings, with Richie Mo'unga starting at fly-half ahead of Damian McKenzie. He drops out the match-day squad.

In the pack, Brodie Retallick partners Scott Barrett in the second row and Codie Taylor has been named at hooker.

New Zealand host South Africa at Mount Smart Stadium after both teams recorded emphatic opening-round wins last weekend.

New Zealand thrashed Argentina 41-12 away and South Africa hammered Australia 43-12 in Pretoria.

With the Rugby Championship reduced to three rounds due to the World Cup, which kicks off in September, the winner on Saturday will put one hand on the trophy.

"Any Test against South Africa is a special occasion," said Foster.

"There is a lot of respect between the two nations and that usually translates to an epic battle on the field.

"It has been four years since we last played South Africa here in New Zealand so that also makes it special."

Should he come off the bench, Canterbury Crusaders prop Tamaiti Williams, who tips the scales at 139 kilos (300 pounds), will make his All Blacks debut.

Foster said it was always his intention to play Crusaders playmaker Mo'unga against the Springboks ahead of McKenzie after both players had stellar Super Rugby seasons.

"I'm pretty excited about their form, they both had big minutes in Super Rugby and now it's Richie's turn," Foster added.

Taylor, who replaces Dane Coles at hooker, described Saturday's Test as the ultimate challenge against the reigning world champions.

"Right across the board they play bloody good footy. They are big men, there is no better challenge as an All Black to go against a South African forward pack," Taylor said.

"Mentally, you have to get yourself in a pretty dark place to be ready for what's coming."

New Zealand Team (15-1)

Beauden Barrett; Will Jordan, Rieko Ioane,  Jordie Barrett, Mark Telea; Richie Mo'unga, Aaron Smith; Ardie Savea, Sam Cane (capt), Shannon Frizell, Scott Barrett, Brodie Retallick, Tyrel Lomax, Codie Taylor, Ethan de Groot

Replacements: Samisoni Taukei'aho, Tamaiti Williams, Nepo Laulala, Tupou Vaa'i, Dalton Papali'i, Finlay Christie, Braydon Ennor, Caleb Clarke

Coach: Ian Foster (NZL)




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