Ardie Savea pays tribute to Siya Kolisi after 'miracle' recovery

Ardie Savea pays tribute to Siya Kolisi after 'miracle' recovery

All Blacks number eight Ardie Savea is delighted to see Siya Kolisi back on the field following the Springboks skipper's recovery from injury.

Rivals on the pitch but friends away from the field, the two players will go head-to-head when the All Blacks and Springboks clash at Twickenham on Friday.

Kolisi is playing just his second match since returning from a knee problem which ruled him out for almost four months.

The Boks captain started against Wales last weekend and impressed as they emerged 52-16 triumphant at the Principality Stadium.

Instead of wrapping him in cotton wool ahead of the Rugby World Cup, head coach Jacques Nienaber is giving him another outing.

"Siya is an inspirational leader, a good friend," Savea told reporters. "To see him come back after his injury at such a fast rate, it's a miracle pretty much.

"It's awesome that he's there, and I know he plays a massive part in the Springbok culture and lifting their boys. It's good for Siya, and it is good for rugby."

The last time these teams played each other was in the second round of the Rugby Championship in July.

South Africa were left shellshocked by the All Blacks' lightning start as the hosts moved 17-0 in front in the opening quarter.

That stunning beginning to the game laid the platform for New Zealand's 35-20 triumph, which ultimately decided the title.

No doubt they are planning a way to stop that happening again," Savea said. "They are going to come at us. They pose a massive threat with their physicality, their threats around the breakdown, so we've got to nail our structures, our game plan, and be ready for things that go our way."

READ MORE: All Blacks name potent XV to face Springboks