Mo'unga and Barrett in surprise selections
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: All Black coach Steve Hansen named a team with a wealth of experience, to play South Africa in a crucial Rugby Championship Test in Wellington on Saturday.
Joe Moody, Codie Taylor and Owen Franks the starting front row, with last week’s front row of Ofa Tuungafasi, Dane Coles and Angus Ta’avao on the bench.
Samuel Whitelock joins Brodie Retallick in the starting second row.
Shannon Frizell is at blindside flank, with Vaea Fifita moving to the bench, while Matt Todd is at No.7 and captain Kieran Read at the back of the scrum.
Dalton Papalii provides loose forward cover on the bench.
In the backs, Thomas Perenara will start at scrumhalf and Aaron Smith is on the bench.
Beauden Barrett moves to fullback to make way for Richie Mo’unga at No.10.
Sonny Bill Williams returns to the All Blacks at No.12, inside Jack Goodhue at outside centre.
Rieko Ioane is on the left wing and with Barrett at fullback, Ben Smith moves to the right wing.
Anton Lienert-Brown and George Bridge are the other back reserves.
“The selectors are once again very excited with the team we’ve selected and are very much looking forward to seeing them play,” Hansen said.
“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 challenges 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 skillsets at a higher level.”
Hansen said the team was also looking forward to their first home Test of the season.
“We love playing in Wellington and this is the first of only three home Tests for the team this year before the World Cup, so we’re looking forward to seeing a full house in full voice in Wellington on Saturday.”
New Zealand: 15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Thomas Perenara, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Matt Todd, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 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: 19.35 (09.35 SA time; 07.35 GMT)
Referee: Nic Berry (Australia)
Assistant referees: Angus Gardner (Australia), Shuhei Kubo (Japan)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)
Vermeulen leads Boks into All Black battle
AUDIO: ‘It is going to be spicy in Wellington’
NZ v SA: Cake Tin ‘cookout’ by the numbers
Blast from the past: Massive All Black versus Springbok punch-up
‘Fireworks’ expected in Cake Tin contest