Opinion: All Blacks up against new look Springbok team in their Rugby Championship match at Albany

Winger Courtnall Skosan scored his first try for country in a win over Argentina.
Winger Courtnall Skosan scored his first try for country in a win over Argentina. Photo credit: Getty

OPINION: There is a newfound level of optimism in the Springbok camp, and with only two players in the squad boasting over 50 test caps, a changing of the guard.

Less than a year ago, the All Blacks embarrassed South Africa in their own backyard, winning the Rugby Championship encounter 57-15 in Durban.

By half-time, the Boks had missed 16 tackles, made only 16 carries and had only 28 percent of the possession.

In what was coach, Alistair Coetzee's first year in charge, the men from Africa suffered further defeats to the likes of Italy, Argentina and Wales.

Fast forward nine months, and only three players from the starting XV at Kings Park are expected to be named in the run-on team for Saturday's game at QBE Stadium.

Gone are likes of the experienced players in Bryan Habana, Morne Steyn and Willie le Roux, the Springboks now seemingly adopting an approach to favour South African-based players.

Much criticised player and captain at the time, Adriaan Strauss who has seemingly given up on his rugby career, is now pursuing business ventures.

Injuries, retirements and the Lions success in Super Rugby have also contributed to the mass overhaul, which will see a very different looking backline representing the green and gold.

Elton Jantjies will be in the first-five role, fresh off of leading the Lions to two successive Super Rugby finals.

He is not one without critics however, but would go a long way to silencing them should the Springboks pull off the upset win.

While Jan Serfontein has probably been South Africa's best player so far this year, starring in their 3-0 series win over France.

Captain will be lock and hard man Eben Etzebeth, who was given the armband after Warren Whitley's injury during the Super Rugby season.

In terms of play, the Springboks seem to not rely so heavily on the brute force they were often dependant on in order to win, the influence of the selected Lions players evident.

Many of the players will experience uncharted territory and will have the prospect of facing the haka for the first time, in a game away from home, against the world champions.

While the All Blacks face a side where a certain degree of unpredictability is a factor, they will be backing themselves to deliver an 80-minute performance after falling short in recent times by their own standards.

Reece Labuschagne is a digital producer for Newshub.