All Blacks: Richie Mo’unga starts ahead of Beauden Barrett for second Springboks Test

·2-min read
 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

Richie Mo’unga will start at fly-half for the All Blacks as they face South Africa in the Rugby Championship at Ellis Park on Saturday.

He replaces Barrett in the primary playmaking position in one of four changes for New Zealand as they attempt to gain revenge for their 26-10 defeat last weekend.

The two-time World Rugby Player of the Year took a nasty-looking knock in the opening encounter of the tournament when he landed awkwardly following a poor aerial challenge by Kurt-Lee Arendse, but he is fit enough to take his place on the bench.

Boost in the backline

Elsewhere along the backline, both Jordie Barrett and Will Jordan have recovered from their minor ailments to be named in the XV.

Up front, there are three alterations with Tyrel Lomax, Shannon Frizell and Ethan de Groot replacing Angus Ta’avao, Akira Ioane and George Bower respectively – the latter two dropping to the bench.

Among the replacements, Codie Taylor comes in for Dane Coles and Fletcher Newell takes the place of Ta’avao in the 23, but that is the only other alteration to the squad, with Tupou Vaa’i, Finlay Christie and Quinn Tupaea all remaining.

It is a huge game for the All Blacks with another defeat almost certainly signalling the end of Ian Foster’s tenure as head coach.

“Belief and confidence remain high in our group, which is working incredibly hard this week,” Foster said ahead of their Rugby Championship encounter against South Africa.

“Playing at Ellis Park is always a special occasion for any All Black team, and this weekend will be no different.

“Adding to that, the Freedom Cup is on the line which makes this a challenge that everyone is looking forward to.”

The team

New Zealand: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Will Jordan, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 David Havili, 11 Caleb Clarke, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Sam Cane (c), 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Sam Whitelock, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 1 Ethan de Groot
Replacements: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 George Bower, 18 Fletcher Newell, 19 Tupou Vaa’i, 20 Akira Ioane, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Quinn Tupaea

Date: Saturday, August 13
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Kick-off: 17:05 local (16:05 BST, 15:05 GMT)
Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
Assistant Referees: Angus Gardner (Australia) , Christophe Ridley (England)
TMO: Brett Cronan (Australia)

READ MORE: All Blacks ‘won’t disappoint’ in Johannesburg says Springbok centre Damian de Allende

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