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Foster makes four changes in latest All Blacks team to face Boks

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Dirk Kotze/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

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Ian Foster has named an All Blacks team for next Saturday’s rematch with the Springboks in Johannesburg showing four changes – three in the starting pack – following last weekend’s deflating 26-10 round one Rugby Championship loss in Mbombela.

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The 16-point margin made it New Zealand’s fifth-equal biggest loss in their 616-Test history and the under-fire head coach has reacted by shaking things up in the forwards and also making a switch at fly-half.

Props Ethan de Groot and Tyrel Lomax, who were both replacements last weekend, have been promoted to start at the expense of the benched George Bower and the excluded Angus Ta’avao. With tighthead Ta’avao not making the 23, the bench cover will be supplied by the uncapped Fletcher Newell.

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Elsewhere, blindside flanker Shannon Frizell has been promoted from the replacements to start at Ellis Park following his try-scoring cameo. He takes over from the benched Akira Ioane while in the backs, Richie Mo’unga will be the starting No10 in place of the demoted Beauden Barrett for the first time this season. Codie Taylor replaces Dane Coles as the sub hooker on a bench that has five alterations from last weekend.

“Belief and confidence remain high in our group, which is working incredibly hard this week,” said Foster. “Playing at Ellis Park is always a special occasion for any All Blacks 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.”

All Blacks (vs Springboks, Saturday)
1. Ethan de Groot (5)
2. Samisoni Taukei’aho (12)
3. Tyrel Lomax (15)
4. Samuel Whitelock (135)
5. Scott Barrett (51)
6. Shannon Frizell (18)
7. Sam Cane – captain (81)
8. Ardie Savea (63)
9. Aaron Smith (106)
10. Richie Mo’unga (36)
11. Caleb Clarke (6)
12. David Havili (17)
13. Rieko Ioane (51)
14. Will Jordan (16)
15. Jordie Barrett (40)

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Replacements:
16. Codie Taylor (69)
17. George Bower (15)
18. Fletcher Newell *
19. Tupou Vaa’i (13)
20. Akira Ioane (15)
21. Finlay Christie (7)
22. Beauden Barrett (105)
23. Quinn Tupaea (10)
* Debut

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