All Blacks v Springboks: Ian Foster's biggest test looms in New Zealand's 100th test against South Africa

Ian Foster has reverted back to his strongest possible line-up for his first showdown with the Springboks as he prepares for his biggest test as head coach so far.

The sides haven't played in two years, and despite the All Blacks seemingly in cruise control so far in the Rugby Championship, they admit the biggest measure of their progress will be how they front up against the world champions.

As the All Blacks soaked up the last of the Brisbane sun before shifting to Townsville, there was a sense of occasion in the group as they prepare to test themselves against the world champion Springboks. 

It's their first meeting since the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

"It's the first time playing South Africa, so that's big," says Foster. "We've had a lot of big games already, but this has got a legacy feel about it."

Foster's enjoyed a much more comfortable ride at the helm of the All Blacks in his second year in charge. 

But he concedes the side's biggest test is about to come.

All Blacks v Springboks: Ian Foster's biggest test looms in New Zealand's 100th test against South Africa

"That's certainly the way we've built it up," he adds. "For is it is a big test. It's a chance for us to measure ourselves against a team that've earned their reputation by delivering, week in, week out in some big games."

It's something the Springboks have struggled to do over the past fortnight.

And halfback Faf de Klerk's put the onus on the Springboks not to allow the All Blacks into the game if they want to avoid three losses on the bounce.

"We know if we go on [the] attack to not make errors at all," de Klerk says.

"If we make knock ons, we need to kill that ball because that's when they come alive."

Despite a two year absence the All Blacks know the Springboks well, and they know this test in particular has long been targeted by their great rivals.

"They'll be pumped for this one," says hooker Codie Taylor.

"We know every time we play them, they'll step up."

"We know South Africa have planned for this for a long, long time," adds Foster.

The two proud rugby nations will meet for the 100th time on Saturday. Ian Foster is out to ensure his first time in charge is a winning one.

Join Newshub for live updates of the All Blacks v South Africa Rugby Championship clash from 7pm Saturday.