Rugby World Cup: All Blacks brace for Springboks 'bomb squad' in battle of benches at Mt Smart

With the likes of Malcolm Marx, Duane Vermeulen and Pieter-Steph du Toit on the bench, the All Blacks know the tough task ahead of them.

New Zealand will host South Africa in a top-the-table Rugby Championship contest at Go Media Stadium Mt Smart on Saturday, a clash that promises to be a titanic tussle for the entire 80 minutes.

The Springboks bench, affectionately known as the 'Bomb Squad', has become a focal point of their success, since winning the 2019 World Cup.

With six World Cup winners among those replacements, All Blacks captain Sam Cane expects the test match to be won in the trenches.

"You can see by the bench they've picked, they believe it's going to be a game that's won up front and rightfully so," he said.

"We know their DNA and how they like to play - scrum, maul, penalties and set-piece. We're in for a big challenge.

"The last time we played them, we did really well in those areas and I like to think we've improved since then. [I'm] just looking forward to it, it's going to be all on."

That last time was a come-from-behind win for the All Blacks in the final 10 minutes at Ellis Park, thanks to two late tries.

Cane believes his side have only gotten better, since breaking their losing streak at Johannesburg, as they look to build on last week's dominant win over Argentina.

"Personally, I love these test matches against the 'Boks and our forward pack does," he said. "They're games that are won up front.

"There have been some epic battles over the years and everything is pointing toward another tomorrow.

"We're in a very different spot than this time last year, when we were playing them, but at the same time, there's still the expectation and pressure of putting on the black jersey.

"The team has made massive growth and we've got a lot of confidence about how far we've come, but there's still more to come.

"We'll be trying to improve in areas from last week to put on a better performance and, hopefully, that results in a good result."

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