All Blacks v South Africa: Caleb Clarke, Samisoni Taukei'aho return as Ian Foster makes changes to face Springboks

Coach Ian Foster has rung the changes to face South Africa in the All Blacks' Rugby Championship opening test at Mbombela on Sunday.

Taking to the field in South Africa for the first time since before the 2019 Rugby World Cup, Foster has made four changes to the starting side from the All Blacks' last outing, looking to bounce back from the 32-22 defeat to Ireland in Wellington.

Winger Caleb Clarke returns to the starting side, taking the place of Sevu Reece in the No.11 jersey to make his first test start since the end of 2020.

Clarke missed the entire 2021 season, after opting to chase an Olympic spot with the All Blacks Sevens.

Hooker Samisoni Taukei'aho will start in the No.2 jersey, with Codie Taylor dropped from the side altogether, while Angus Ta'avao returns from suspension to start at loosehead prop. 

Scott Barrett partners Sam Whitelock in the second row, after initially being named at No.6 for the final test against Ireland, before being ruled out before kick-off with injury.

Elsewhere, Beauden Barrett retains the No.10 jersey ahead of Richie Mo'unga, while younger brother Jordie stays at fullback.

Captain Sam Cane, Akira Ioane and Ardie Savea make up the loose forward trio, while David Havili and Rieko Ioane have been retained as the midfield combination.

On the bench, Ethan de Groot comes into the side after his recall for the South African trip, with Tyrel Lomax also providing front row cover. The pair of Aidan Ross and Ofa Tuungafasi have both been left out of the side after starting on the bench in the Ireland series finale.

Shannon Frizell has been named to cover the loose forwards after his return to the All Blacks' squad after returning from a knee injury sustained for the Highlanders in Super Rugby.

Frizell's inclusion, though, leaves no room for Dalton Papalii, who doesn't feature in the matchday 23.

Finlay Christie takes the place of Folau Fakatava as reserve halfback, while Quinn Tupaea comes into the No.23 jersey for Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, who made his test debut against Ireland.

The All Blacks are out to end a two-test losing streak when they face the Springboks, and have also lost four of their last five tests.

All Blacks: 1-George Bower, 2-Samisoni Taukei'aho, 3-Angus Ta'avao, 4-Sam Whitelock, 5-Scott Barrett, 6-Akira Ioane, 7-Sam Cane (c), 8-Ardie Savea, 9-Aaron Smith, 10-Beauden Barrett, 11-Caleb Clarke, 12-David Havili, 13-Rieko Ioane, 14-Will Jordan 15-Jordie Barrett

Reserves: 16-Dane Coles, 17-Ethan de Groot, 18-Tyrel Lomax, 19-Tupou Vaa'i, 20-Shannon Frizell, 21-Finlay Christie, 22-Richie Mo'unga, 23-Quinn Tupaea

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