Rugby World Cup 2019: Richie Mo'unga, Beauden Barrett to both start in All Blacks Rugby Championship test against Springboks

  • 25/07/2019

The All Blacks have found a solution to the increasingly loud debate regarding Beauden Barrett and Richie Mo'unga - start them both.

The selectors have opted to shift Barrett to fullback to make way for Mo'unga to start at first-five for the All Blacks' Rugby Championship test against South Africa in Wellington on Saturday.

In total, there are 14 changes to the team that beat Argentina 20-16 last weekend, that includes Sam Cane dropping out of the game day squad altogether as Kieran Read steps in to claim the captaincy and Matt Todd slides into openside flanker.

There's also no room for Hurricanes bulldozer Ardie Savea, who was arguably the form player of this year's Super Rugby.

As expected, Sonny Bill Williams returns from a long international layoff to start at 12, pairing with Jack Goodhue in the midfield.

Ben Smith shuffles across to start on the right wing with the returning Rieko Ioane, while TJ Perenara starts at halfback and Aaron Smith provides support from the bench.

Rugby World Cup 2019: Richie Mo'unga, Beauden Barrett to both start in All Blacks Rugby Championship test against Springboks

The front row has a fresh look to it, with the Crusaders trio of Joe Moody, Codie Taylor, and Owen Franks in to start, moving Angus Ta'avao, Ofa Tu'ungafasi and Dane Coles to the sidelines.

George Bridge, Anton Lienert-Brown, Vaea Fifita and Dalton Papalii round out the interchange.

"The selectors are once again very excited with the team we've selected and are very much looking forward to seeing them play," said All Blacks coach Steve Hansen. 

"The key for us this week has been to continue building on the very good groundwork we've put in over the last couple of weeks.

"Whilst we were a little rusty last week, we're looking forward to seeing improvements in all areas of our game this week.

Meanwhile, Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus has nade 12 changes to starting 15 who beat the Wallabies 35-17 in Johannesburg last Sunday (NZ time).  

All Blacks: 1-Joe Moody, 2-Codie Taylor, 3-Owen Franks, 4-Brodie Retallick, 5-Sam Whitelock, 6-Shannon Frizell, 7-Matt Todd, 8-Kieran Read (c), 9-TJ Perenara, 10-Richie Mo'unga, 11-Rieko Ioane, 12-Sonny Bill Williams, 13-Jack Goodhue, 14-Ben Smith, 15-Beauden Barrett 

Reserves: 16-Dane Coles, 17-Ofa Tuungafasi, 18-Angus Ta'avao, 19-Vaea Fifita, 20-Dalton Papalii, 21-Aaron Smith, 22-Anton Lienert-Brown, 23-George Bridge

Springboks: 1-Steven Kitshoff, 2-Malcolm Marx, 3-Frans Malherbe, 4-Eben Etzebeth, 5-Franco Mostert, 6-Kwagga Smith, 7- Pieter-Steph du Toit, 8-Duane Vermeulen (c), 9-Faf de Klerk, 10-Handre Pollard, 11-Makazole Mapimpi, 12-Damian de Allende, 13-Lukhanyo Am, 14-Cheslin Kolbe, 15-Willie le Roux

Reserves: 16-Bongi Mbonambi, 17-Tendai Mtawarira, 18-Trevor Nyakane, 19-RG Snyman, 20-Francois Louw, 21-Herschel Jantjes, 22-Frans Steyn, 23-Jesse Kriel

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