Two changes to All Blacks squad

There have been two injury enforced changes to the All Blacks squad to take on South Africa in Christchurch on Saturday.

RNZ reports Ardie Savea starts at openside flank for the injured Sam Cane, while in the reserves Lima Sopoaga replaces Aaron Cruden.

Cane is out with a hamstring injury, while Cruden has a groin strain.

Matt Todd goes into the reserves.

It is a first start for Ardie Savea after making five appearances from the bench.

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: "We're really looking forward to Saturday's encounter, as South Africa is one of our traditional foes. We have built up a great relationship over the last few years and respect the South Africans immensely."

"We know they'll be hurting and desperate to get a result after their loss on the weekend. Therefore, our personal preparation this week will have to be at the highest level - bone deep with real clarity," he added.

"We've worked hard this week on improving in the areas we felt weren't good enough last weekend. We're confident that those areas have been addressed and our performance will be improved.

"Whilst we have been reasonably happy with our three games to date in the Rugby Championship, we are always striving for improvement and with South Africa having their backs to the wall, we know nothing but our best will be good enough. Accuracy with intensity will be paramount."

The All Blacks side to take on South Africa....(with Test caps in brackets):

1. Joe Moody (16)

2. Dane Coles (42)

3. Owen Franks (83)

4. Brodie Retallick (53)

5. Samuel Whitelock (78)

6. Jerome Kaino (72)

7. Ardie Savea (5)

8. Kieran Read - captain (90)

9. Aaron Smith (53)

10. Beauden Barrett (42)

11. Julian Savea (46)

12. Ryan Crotty (20)

13. Malakai Fekitoa (18)

14. Israel Dagg (54)

15. Ben Smith (54)

16. Codie Taylor (6)

17. Wyatt Crockett (51)

18. Charlie Faumuina (39)

19. Luke Romano (25)

20. Matt Todd (3)

21. TJ Perenara (22)

22. Lima Sopoaga (2)

23. Anton Lienert-Brown (2)

All Blacks v South Africa - key facts

* The All Blacks and South Africa have a history dating back to 1921 when the first Test between the sides was played at Carisbrook, Dunedin. The All Blacks won 13-5 that day.

* Since that day, the sides have played each other 91 times, with 53 wins to the All Blacks, 35 to South Africa and three draws. The most recent match was the 20-18 RWC semifinal last year. The All Blacks 58 percent winning record against South Africa is the lowest of all the team's traditional rivals.

* All Blacks Captain Kieran Read has now won his first 15 Tests as captain, taking over the world record from All Blacks legend Sir Brian Lochore.

* Beauden Barrett has scored 303 points in first-class rugby already this year, including

* 80 points for the All Blacks. He has scored a total of 225 points in Test matches, which is tenth on the All Blacks list.

* Israel Dagg's booming penalty goal last weekend was his second for the All Blacks and he is now on 98 points for the All Blacks.

The Rugby Championship - All Blacks Tests

1. Australia 8 All Blacks 42, Saturday 20 August, ANZ Stadium, SYDNEY

2. All Blacks 29 Australia 9, Saturday 27 August, Westpac Stadium, WELLINGTON

3. All Blacks 57 Argentina 22. Saturday 10 Sept, FMG Stadium Waikato, HAMILTON

4. vs. SOUTH AFRICA. Saturday 17 Sept, 7.35PM, AMI Stadium, CHRISTCHURCH

5. vs. ARGENTINA. Saturday 1 Oct, 7.10PM, Estadio Jose Amalfitani, BUENOS AIRES

6. vs. SOUTH AFRICA. Saturday 8 Oct, 5.05PM, Growthpoint Kings Park, DURBAN


Ardie Savea scores his first try for the All Blacks. Photo: PHOTOSPORT