Richie Mo'unga back at flyhalf as All Blacks change five for Boks

Richie Mo'unga back at flyhalf as All Blacks change five for Boks

Richie Mo'unga will start at flyhalf for the All Blacks in Saturday's Rugby Championship Test against the Springboks in Auckland in one of five changes to the side.

Mo'unga, who was amongst the replacements in last week's tournament opener against Argentina, replaces Damian McKenzie who has dropped completely out of the matchday squad.

In other changes, Will Jordan, Mark Telea, Brodie Retallick and Codie Taylor have also been promoted to the run-on side at the expense of Emoni Narawa, Caleb Clarke, Josh Lord and Dane Coles respectively.

Amongst the replacements, uncapped Crusaders prop Tamaiti Williams has also been called up to the matchday squad.

Should Williams come onto the field against the Springboks, he will become All Black number 1209.

The 22-year-old, who was born in Whangarei, could become just the fifth Northland-born All Black in the last two decades.

Foster is relishing the opportunity of facing their arch-rivals in what promises to be an exciting Rugby Championship encounter.

"Any Test against South Africa is a special occasion," he said. "There is a lot of respect between the two nations and that usually translates to an epic battle on the field.

"This will be a significant challenge and we are determined to grow after a solid start to the Lipovitan-D 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."

The Test will be a momentous one for All Blacks inside centre Jordie Barrett as he is set to play in his 50th Test for his country. The 26-year-old will bring up the milestone in the same city where he made his All Blacks debut against Samoa in 2017.

Two other All Blacks are in line for landmark achievements with lock Scott Barrett set to play his 200th first-class match while Caleb Clarke could make his 100th first-class appearance from the replacements bench.

"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."

New Zealand: 15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Will Jordan, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 Jordie Barrett, 11 Mark Telea, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Sam Cane (c), 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Ethan de Groot

Replacements: 16 Samisoni Taukei'aho, 17 Tamaiti Williams, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Tupou Vaa'i, 20 Dalton Papali'i, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 Braydon Ennor, 23 Caleb Clarke