Big changes for All Blacks-Boks

The Rugby Championship
by AAP

Kane Hames has been thrown straight into the deep end after being selected to pull on the All Blacks' No.1 jumper for Saturday's Rugby Championship clash with South Africa in Albany.

The two-Test Hames joined the Kiwi squad earlier this week, following a season-ending shoulder injury to incumbent loosehead Joe Moody.

He has jumped directly into the starting line-up for a bruising encounter against the Springboks, leapfrogging veteran Wyatt Crockett.

It will be the Chiefs loosehead's first Test start, having come off the bench in Bledisloe Cup Tests in 2016 and 2017.

Crockett will start on the bench.

Kane Hames is set for his All Blacks debut. Photo: Getty ImagesElsewhere, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has sprung few surprises, reinstating his heavy artillery after giving several key players a rest in last week's 39-22 win over a plucky Argentina in New Plymouth.

Sam Whitelock, Sam Cane, Aaron Smith and Ryan Crotty all return to the starting XV, while Liam Squire has been selected ahead of Vaea Fifita at blindside.

Fifita, who starred in his starting Test debut against Los Pumas and scored a barnstorming try, has been left out of the matchday squad altogether.

Damian McKenzie retains his role at fullback, while Nehe Milner-Skudder has earned the nod ahead of Waisake Naholo on the right wing.

Israel Dagg, who has struggled with a knee issue for much of this week, will not play with Rieko Ioane named on the left edge.

After struggling to dispatch Argentina last weekend, Hansen called on his troops to produce the goods in Auckland.

They needed to keep growing their game, particularly in attack.

Several outfits - from the British and Irish Lions to Australia and Argentina - have successfully blunted Hansen's troops with defensive line speed.

"We need the games we're getting at the moment, we've had a bit of adversity and that will only make us better," Hansen said.

"South Africa scrummage well, they attack well with the ball and their defence is getting better - so that's basically the game."

New Zealand takes on South Africa on Saturday September 16, kicking off at 5:35pm AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS.


New Zealand to face South Africa

IN: Kane Hames, Sam Whitelock, Liam Squire, Aaron Smith, Ryan Crotty, Rieko Ioane

OUT: Joe Moody, Luke Romano, Vaea Fifita Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Ngani Laumape, Israel Dagg

1.Kane Hames

2. Dane Coles

3. Nepo Laulala

4. Brodie Retallick

5. Sam Whitelock

6. Liam Squire

7. Sam Cane

8. Kieran Read

9. Aaron Smith

10. Beauden Barrett

11. Rieko Ioane

12. Sonny Bill Williams

13. Ryan Crotty

14. Nehe Milner-Skudder

15. Damien McKenzie


16. Codie Taylor

17. Wyatt Crockett

18. Ofa Tuungafasi

19. Scott Barrett

20. Ardie Savea

21. TJ Perenara

22. Lima Sopoaga

23. Anton Lienert-Brown