The All Blacks have named the Crusaders’ Richie Mo’unga at fly-half to face the Springboks on Saturday, with two-time World Player of the Year Beauden Barrett moving to full-back.
After naming a weakened side against Argentina, a wealth of experience returns to the matchday 23, with Joe Moody, Codie Taylor and Owen Franks the starting front-row.
Samuel Whitelock joins Brodie Retallick in the starting second-row, while Shannon Frizell is at blindside flanker, with Vaea Fifita moving to the bench. Matt Todd is at seven and captain Kieran Read at the back of the scrum. Dalton Papalii provides loose forward cover on the bench.
In the backs, TJ Perenara will start at half-back and Aaron Smith is on the bench, while Sonny Bill Williams returns for the All Blacks at 12, inside Jack Goodhue at centre.
Rieko Ioane is on the left wing, and with Barrett at full-back, Ben Smith moves to the right wing. Anton Lienert-Brown and George Bridge are the other back reserves.
All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen said: “The selectors are once again very excited with the team we’ve selected and are very much looking forward to seeing them play.
“The key for us this week has been to continue building on the very good groundwork we’ve put in over the last couple of weeks. Whilst we were a little rusty last week, we’re looking forward to seeing improvements in all areas of our game this week.
“It’s always an exciting occasion when we play the Springboks. We have a lot of respect for them and love playing them, as they bring many challenges to the contest.
“One of those challenge this week will be to not only match the physicality of the Boks, but to impose our own physicality on the game, and execute our game and our skill sets at a higher level.”
New Zealand: 15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Matt Todd, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Ofa Tuungafasi, 18 Angus Ta’avao, 19 Vaea Fifita, 20 Dalton Papalii, 21 Aaron Smith, 22 Anton Lienert-Brown, 23 George Bridge
Date: Saturday, July 27
Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Kick-off: 07:35 GMT
Referee: Nic Berry (Australia)
Assistant referees: Angus Gardner (Australia), Shuhei Kubo (Japan)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)
-Story by Planet rugby