A Super Saturday of rugby awaits us, and we start with ultimately the biggest game of the weekend as the All Blacks host the Springboks, a match that should excite every single rugby fan around the world. This one though, has me rather nervous.
New Zealand have made a few changes to their team that beat, with some effort, Argentina last weekend. This weekend though, expect them to fire on all cylinders as they face up to one of their biggest enemies in world rugby. Aaron Cruden continues in the 10 jersey while Dan Carter recovers from injury, and will bring an equally attacking game to the table. In Savea, Jane and Dagg, they have the best back three in world rugby, and the Boks will do well to keep them at bay.
Even though this is not the Springboks’ strongest team, missing key names such as Bismarck du Plessis and Schalk Burger, expect them to lift their game from what they produced against the Aussies last weekend, and show what they have. Morne Steyn is under immense pressure to perform, and the fact that another flyhalf that coach Heyneke Meyer actually likes is on the bench, could spell an early night for him. Look out for the front row battle!
New Zealand: 1. Tony Woodcock, 2. Andrew Hore, 3. Owen Franks, 4. Luke Romano, 5. Samuel Whitelock, 6. Liam Messam, 7. Richie McCaw, 8. Kieran Read, 9. Piri Weepu, 10. Aaron Cruden, 11. Julian Savea, 12. Ma’a Nonu, 13. Conrad Smith, 14. Cory Jane, 15. Israel Dagg.
Reserves: 16. Keven Mealamu, 17. Charlie Faumuina, 18. Brodie Retallick, 19. Victor Vito, 20. Aaron Smith, 21. Beauden Barrett, 22. Tamati
South Africa: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 Jean de Villiers, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Francois Hougaard ,10 Morne Steyn, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Juandre; Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg, 17 Dean Greyling, 18 Andries Bekker, 19 Marcell Coetzee, 20 Johan Goosen, 21 Juan de Jongh, 22 Pat Lambie.
Referee: G. Clancy (IRFU)
Assistant Ref 1:R. Poite (FFR)
Assistant Ref 2:J. Leckie (ARU)
TMO : V. Munro (NZRU)