Watch South Africa v New Zealand live on Sky Sports Action on Saturday from 3.30pm
Last Updated: 04/10/18 7:01am
New Zealand captain Kieran Read returns to the starting line-up for Saturday’s Rugby Championship game against South Africa, live on Sky Sports Action.
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has named his strongest side for the Pretoria Test after suffering a shock defeat to the Springboks in Wellington last month.
South Africa v New Zealand preview
Stuart Barnes and Miles Harrison look ahead to Saturday’s Rugby Championship Test.
Read, who had back surgery last year, was rested for last Saturday’s 35-17 win over Argentina, instead travelling directly to South Africa and avoiding part of an arduous two-week trip.
There are three other changes to the team that clinched a fourth successive Rugby Championship in Buenos Aires with Aaron Smith back at scrum-half instead of TJ Perenara.
Owen Franks comes in at tighthead prop for Ofa Tu’ungafasi, who drops to the bench, while Jack Goodhue gets the nod over Ryan Crotty at outside centre.
“Test matches between the All Blacks and Springboks are always intense and dramatic contests, and we expect this weekend will be no different,” said Hansen.
“It’s a Test match that everyone in New Zealand expects us to win. The fact that it’s an All Blacks-Springboks Test match makes it even more exciting and it’s one that we’re really looking forward to.
“South Africa are playing with a lot of confidence and after their two recent wins, their confidence levels will be even higher. So we’ll need to respond with real purpose, composure, belief and intensity.
“While our preparation this week has had to be slightly modified because of our travel, it has still been thorough, which should put us in good stead for Saturday.”
South Africa vs New Zealand
October 6, 2018, 3:30pm
New Zealand: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith; 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe, 2 Codie Taylor, 3 Owen Franks, 4 Sam Whitelock, 5 Scott Barrett, 6 Shannon Frizell, 7 Sam Cane, 8 Kieran Read (c),
Replacements: 16 Nathan Harris, 17 Tim Perry, 18 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Richie Mo’unga, 23 Ryan Crotty.