The All Blacks have named their squad to start in the Rugby Championship heavyweight battle vs the Springboks on Saturday with some rather interesting changes, including a switch up at flyhalf and a return for Crusaders flyer Will Jordan.
Many fans were impressed by the ferocity and speed with which the All Blacks, led by captain Sam Cane, took the game to Argentina last week. The former world champions looked like a Championship-winning side once again as they took apart a Pumas side that struggled to kick into gear.
The 12-41 victory was a perfect start for the All Blacks ahead of a South African side that are widely touted to retain their World Cup title later this year.
Despite the impressive victory over the Pumas, there have been widespread changes to the New Zealand starting team as they are set to face their toughest test yet.
The front row sees a change at hooker with Dane Coles dropping out of the 23 altogether. Despite opening the scoring last week, Coles finds himself being replaced by Codie Taylor.
— Planet Rugby (@PlanetRugby) July 8, 2023
Brodie Retallick returns to the squad in the second row as Josh Lord drops out of the 23, and there is no change to the back row which performed so dominantly last week.
The half-back combination of Aaron Smith and Damian Mckenzie has been upset this week with Richie Mo’unga returning to the starting lineup and Mckenzie dropping out of the matchday squad entirely.
The midfield remains the same, with Beauden Barrett also keeping his spot at fullback, however, there are two major changes on the wings. Despite scoring on debut last week, Emoni Narawa, and slightly more experienced Caleb Clarke, make way for wingers Mark Telea and Will Jordan.
The bench consists of a 5:3 split, with a debut pending for Tamaiti Williams should he make an appearance.
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