The All Blacks have made just one change for the Rugby World Cup semifinal against the Springboks at Twickenham on Saturday. Prop Joe Moody comes in to the starting XV for injured Wyatt Crockett, who is out with a hamstring injury, as Ben Franks takes up a place on the bench.
The Springboks named their team yesterday, and also made just one change in the 23.
All Blacks Coach Steve Hansen said he is looking forward to the contest against the old enemies.
“Though we’ve met many times over the years, we’ve (South Africa and New Zealand) only played three times at the Rugby World Cup and these Cup finals matches are totally different. They have a live or die nature to them and both teams will be desperate to advance.
“As a group we’re really looking forward to this challenge. It will require a massive amount of intensity and composure and accurate skill execution. This team has high expectations of itself and enjoys the big occasions.”
All Blacks Team:
Joe Moody, Dane Coles, Owen Franks, Brodie Retallick, Samuel Whitelock, Jerome Kaino, Richie McCaw – captain, Kieran Read, Aaron Smith, Daniel Carter, Julian Savea, Ma’a Nonu, Conrad Smith, Nehe Milner-Skudder, Ben Smith
Replacements: Keven Mealamu, Ben Franks, Charlie Faumuina, Victor Vito, Sam Cane, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Beauden Barrett, Sonny Bill Williams
Stats & Facts
- The All Blacks matchday 23 for the Test against South Africa has an average age of 28 and has 1,318 Test caps of experience.
- The All Blacks and South Africa have met three times at Rugby World Cups: in the 1995 Final, the bronze match in 1999 and the quarterfinal in Australia in 2003. South Africa won on the first two occasions.
- This weekend the two great rivals will be playing their 91st Test match: the All Blacks record stands at 52 wins, 35 losses and three draws.
- Wing Julian Savea has scored eight tries at this year’s Tournament, a single Tournament record equal with All Blacks great Jonah Lomu and South Africa’s Bryan Habana.
- Eight of the All Blacks will extend their records as the most capped All Blacks in their position this weekend: Richie McCaw (openside flanker), Keven Mealamu (hooker), Owen Franks (tighthead prop), Kieran Read (number eight), Jerome Kaino (blindside flanker), Daniel Carter (first five-eighth), Ma’a Nonu (second five-eighth) and Conrad Smith (centre).
Kick-off at Twickenham, London, on Saturday 24 October is at 4.00PM
Below is a quick look at some of the sublime All Blacks skills in action against France. NZ won 62-13