All Blacks set for key changes in clash against Springboks
Jerome Kaino, George Moala and Waisake Naholo likely to be back in New Zealand side for Rugby Championship match in Durban on Saturday
Loose forward Jerome Kaino, centre George Moala and winger Waisake Naholo are likely to start in a much-changed New Zealand side for Saturday’s Rugby Championship clash against South Africa in Durban, coach Steve Hansen has suggested.
Kaino has recovered from a shoulder injury while Moala (knee) and Naholo (hamstring) are back and will travel with the team.
“Some people put their hands up but it’s that time of year where we’ve got to be brave and trust the people we’ve selected so there’ll probably be some more changes,” Hansen was quoted as saying by New Zealand media.
“JK [Kaino] is available so he could come back in. We’ll look at some of the performances [from the Argentina test] but Waisake is another one, he’s back fit and George [Moala] is back.”
The All Blacks racked up their 16th test win in a row with a 36-17 victory over Argentina in the Rugby Championship and have already clinched the title with five straight victories.
Centre Anton Lienert-Brown, who was influential in Saturday’s win in Buenos Aires, is also likely to feature against the Springboks, who secured a 18-10 win over Australia on Saturday.
The 21-year-old said he is ready to take up both midfield roles at the highest level.
“It’s been good to play both,” Lienert-Brown said.
“Fossy [assistant coach Ian Foster] said if you can make your mark in both positions it’ll help you with selection so that’s what I tried to do. I’ve been loving it.”
A victory over South Africa in their final Rugby Championship test this season would match the world champions’ top-tier record for consecutive wins.
That record is currently held by the 1965-69 and 2013-14 All Blacks and the 1997-98 Springboks.