New ZealandRichie McCawSteve Hansen, the All Blacks coach has made only 2 changes to the All Blacks starting 15 for their important Test match and a fitting finale to The Rugby Championship, against the Springboks of South Africa at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on Saturday.

As expected, Richie McCaw returns to captain the side and fill the openside flanker role, with Sam Cane dropping to the bench. Richie will play in his 120th Test match and has never had the opportunity to play in a Test at Ellis Park.

The injured prop, Owen Franks, has failed to recover from a groin strain and has been replaced by Charlie Faumuina at tighthead prop, with Ben Franks coming onto the bench.

Dane Coles replaces veteran hooker Keven Mealamu on the replacement bench.

With Sam Cane reverting to the bench, Jeremy Thrush is dropped from the match-day 23, whilst the more versatile Steven Luatua retains his place on the bench, where he will also provide cover for lock.

“Playing the Springboks at Ellis Park is a challenge that this team is really looking forward to and one we are very excited about,” All Black coach Steve Hansen said.

“We know the South Africans will come at us with their physical game but to win the championship they will have to do that by scoring four tries so we are expecting more ball movement than we have seen in the past. So the answer is pretty simple for us – we will have to match their physicality and be very accurate with our execution across the park, both on attack and defensively.”


New Zealand: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Richie McCaw, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Ben Franks, 19 Steven Luatua, 20 Sam Cane, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Charles Piutau.

Date: Saturday 5 October 2013
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Kick-off: 17:00 SA Time (15:00 GMT, 04:00 Sunday NZ Time)
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant Referees: John Lacey (Ireland), Greg Garner (England)
TMO: Graham Hughes (England)

18 Responses to The Rugby Championship: All Blacks make 2 changes for Bokke clash

  • 2

    The sight of the All Blacks performing the haka, particularly the Kapa o pango, is one of the greatest spectacles in rugby.

    There is some debate regarding which team benefits more from this traditional challenge: the All Blacks, or their opponents. Indeed, many an international player has claimed to be more inspired than intimidated by the famous war dance.

    The hype has been building since the All Blacks arrived in Johannesburg on Monday. It will reach a crescendo when they take their place on the field at 17:00 this Saturday, and when Liam Messam, the leader of the haka, lays down that challenge.

    Exactly who will benefit from this, and how will it influence the game? The answer is not what you’d expect.

    ‘It won’t have any bearing on the result,’ said Smith, a veteran of 74 Tests. ‘That’s the thing about the haka, it can get you really fired up. There was a time when we were getting so hyped up, and then battling to calm down before kick-off. As a result, we started games poorly.

    ‘We’ve learned from that, it’s about going into the game with cool heads. You have to stay focused in those early stages, and you can’t afford to let your emotions get the better of you.

    Can the Springboks refuse to face the Haka? Let them lay the challenge to the Ellispark Grand Stand. Imagine the faces we can pull.

  • 3

    The All Blacks are looking forward to the game, not only in the sense that it will decide the winner of the Castle Rugby Championship, but also in that it will reveal who is the best side on the planet.

    There is the added motivation of picking up a rare win at Ellis Park, which hasn’t witnessed an All Blacks victory since 1997.

    Smith has never played a Test at the ground before, but remembers watching some of the clashes on TV during the 1990s. Of course, the Boks’ famous 15-12 victory over the All Blacks in the 1995 World Cup final stands out.

    ‘I was just a young lad back then, but I stayed up late for the game,’ he remembers. ‘I may have even made an All Blacks banner. I was so excited.

    ‘Well, I went to bed in tears. It hurt for a long time, and I even had to build myself up to watching the movie [Invictus] about that game. It was still hard when I watched it.’

    Sixty-two thousand fans at Ellis Park will be hoping it ends in tears for Smith once again this Saturday.

  • 4

    Not many weaknesses in this All Black lineup.

    1. Maybe Faumuina can be targeted in the scrums and set pieces.

    2. Locks are bloody good, but the Springboks should have the wood over them at the lineouts.

    3. Terriffic Loseforwards, so the Springbok loosies and the team in general would have to be at their best in the ground-ball stakes and tackling departments.

    4. The 2 Aarons at scrumhalf and flyhalf are young and if I was the Springboks I would run hard at them on attack and also aim to target the channell between Cruden and Ma’a Nonu.

    5. Nonu is dangerous when he gets going but he is sometimes a liability on defence, therefore I would challenge his inside shoulder (the outside shoulder of Cruden) as a weak point to make serious ground.

    6. Conrad Smith at No 13 as well as the back 3 are masterful rugby athletes, you simply do not give them space or counter-attacking opportunity, you rather put kicks way behind them and closer to the touchline, forcing them to turn around… then you simply do not give them a chance to build up a head of steam because they will punish you, if you do.

    7. Against the All Blacks you hold your lines on defence and you employ the umbrella defensive structure, cutting off their space out wide.

    8. Against the All Blacks you have to win the forwards and ground ball (breakdown) battle, you have to establish some form of dominance there, otherwise it’s good night nurse.

    9. One attacks with strike running forwards in the channells just wider than the scrumhalf, yet one keeps the ball possession, because modern day rugby favours the team in possession at the tackle areas.

    10. The All Blacks easily give away almost professional fouls, if not complete professional fouls, near their goal line and in their own 22 rather than concede tries, therefore Jean de Villiers and the team need to be on this like a rash… would be good to see these fouls carded. That’s the All Black method… it needs to be circumvented and punished!

    11. Lastly, one needs to execute your opportunities almost down to a T every damn time, because one does not get a surplus of possession against the No 1 team in the world!

  • 5

    The Springboks dicipline this weekend is of cardinal importance, they cannot afford to play with less than a full side against these okes again!

  • 6

    @ grootblousmile:
    As long as we this one handsomely, I am happy, even without a bonus point victory.
    The comp lost its flavour after the Bismarck debacle anyway. And the whole of the rugby world knows that.

    Superbul @2: Stuff the ABs… and stuff their haka as well. Perhaps we should send some Zulu dancers out with a war cry of our own, and see if they respect that.
    Why do our boys have to stand motionless and respectful while watching their ancestors’ tribal dance, and not have a team talk behind our posts during this ritual? I am just gatvol with these okes since the last world cup and I hope the Boks moer them big time come this Saturday.

  • 7

    @ Pietman:
    “as long as we WIN…”

  • 8

    6 @ Pietman:
    As on wen, al is dit met ‘n punt, dan sal ek happy wees… ek sal natuurlik uit my skoene uit dans as ons hulle goed moer, die bonuspunt kry en boonop die Rugby Championship nog wen ook!

  • 10

    The moral of the story is that if we just win the the All Blacks and they still end up winning the Championship…………..it is still not a achievement as the match in NZ was not a true victory. This will be be in the back of every All Black mind.

    Coming back to the Haka comment. I have to agree. This is not high school musical. Real men don’t dance before a game. Some of these okes can barely throw a punch…………….but they want to do a war dance. And really a war dance/cry……………………name me one war that NZ has been in.

  • 11

    @ Timothy Bornman:
    Ja man.
    Haka se ma se ####!
    Bokke moet gaan opwarm agter die pale terwyl hulle tong uitsteek en aangaan soos mensvreters…dis n rugbytoets, nie n flippin konsert nie.

  • 12

    Why is so much time and respect paid to the haka song and dance routine? Ignore the fucking thing and pray that it goes away.
    I only cross over to the rugby once the singing and dancing has stopped.

  • 13

    @ Loosehead:
    You saw my video last week about the best way to react. Stand still and let them cool down for 3 minutes, before you make any move.

    Dont pull a face go into sleep mode. i just loved that reaction by Wales.

  • 14

    @ superBul:
    I didn’t hey.
    Once the legislation was brought in to stipulate how the opposition must react to the song and dance routine I lost all respect for it.

  • 15

    Ek stem, Have always wondered why the whole world should go on bended knee in reverence of the haka, not allowed to react etc etc, why the hell, if it is genuinely meant as a war cry other cultures are surely allowed to do their own thing, what I would have loved is if the scotts wore the kilts and brown-eyed the AB’s as the haka is done! :-)

  • 16

    O ja en seeing as how we have our Zulu warrior running out before the players, why cant we have zulu warroirs doing a war dance before our games, dink die AB’s sal hulleself toekakka as hulle dit sien hehehe

  • 17

    I hope that the old nigel will be watching Mr McCaw like a hawk at the loose scrums and off the ball gedoentes!!! the AB’s are masters of obstruction off the ball that the refs dont pick up

  • 18

    I personally like the haka, but I also think that opposing teams should be allowed to accept the challenge in whatever way they wish. Isn’t that what the haka actually is? One group of warriors throwing down a challenge to another group? I don’t think the Maori tribes stood respectfully while the other lot did their thing? Both groups did their haka and then fought. So not responding takes away some of the spectacle.


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