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Five changes to All Blacks side to take on Boks

All Blacks wing Will Jordan
Will Jordan Photo: PHOTOSPORT

There are five changes to the All Blacks starting side for Saturday night's Rugby Championship game against South Africa at Auckland's Mount Smart Stadium.

Hooker Codie Taylor, lock Brodie Retallick, first five Richie Mo'unga and wings Mark Telea and Will Jordan are the changes to the starting fifteen that beat Argentina 41-12 in Mendosa last weekend.

Beauden Barrett remains at fullback, while Damian McKenzie misses out on the matchday 23.

The Crusaders prop Tamaiti Williams is set to make his debut off the bench.

Should Williams take the field, he will become All Black number 1209.

Born in Whangārei with roots in Kaeo, the 22-year-old could become just the fifth Northland-born All Black in the last two decades.

"Any Test against South Africa is a special occasion," Foster said.

"There is a lot of respect between the two nations and that usually translates to an epic battle on the field," he said.

"This will be a significant challenge and we are determined to grow after a solid start to the Rugby Championship in Argentina last week. It has been four years since we last played South Africa here in New Zealand so that also makes it special."

Jordie Barrett has been named to play his 50th Test match, lining up in the midfield.

The 26-year-old will notch a half-century in the same city where he made his All Blacks debut back in 2017.

Crusaders prop Tamaiti Williams.

© Mandatory credit: Bruce Lim /
Tamaiti Williams Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Two other All Blacks are in line to achieve milestones with lock Scott Barrett named to play his 200th first class game while Caleb Clarke could make his 100th first class appearance as outside back cover.

"The fact that this game sold out over a month ago shows that fans are clearly up for it," added Foster. "I've been told that we're expecting over 31,000 fans which means a lot to us."

South Africa's lock Eben Etzebeth gestures during the Japan 2019 Rugby World Cup Pool B match between South Africa and Italy.
Eben Etzebeth. Photo: AFP

Meanwhile South Africa captain Eben Etzebeth's father has died after a battle with cancer, leaving the towering lock in doubt for the game.

Etzebeth was set to lead the Springboks for the first time this season after recovering from injury.

However, reports citing team sources said he would be given time to decide whether he would play the match against the All Blacks.

The team was unable to provide immediate comment.

All Blacks match day 23 (Test caps in brackets) * debutant

1. Ethan de Groot (14)

2. Codie Taylor (77)

3. Tyrel Lomax (24)

4. Brodie Retallick (100)

5. Scott Barrett (59)

6. Shannon Frizell (26)

7. Sam Cane (captain - 87)

8. Ardie Savea (71)

9. Aaron Smith (115)

10. Richie Mo'unga (45)

11. Mark Telea (2)

12. Jordie Barrett (49)

13. Rieko Ioane (60)

14. Will Jordan (21)

15. Beauden Barrett (113)

16. Samisoni Taukei'aho (21)

17. Tamaiti Williams *

18. Nepo Laulala (46)

19. Tupou Vaa'i (19)

20. Dalton Papali'i (23)

21. Finlay Christie (15)

22. Braydon Ennor (7)

23. Caleb Clarke (16)