Boks v All Blacks Rugby Championship Preview

Out of the last six Rugby Championship matches between South Africa’s Springboks
and New Zealand’s All Blacks the New Zealand side have won five and South Africa

Overall South Africa have played New Zealand 89 times since 1921 and the Springboks
have won 35 matches, lost 51 matches and drawn three times.

That gives South Africa a record of winning 39% of their matches against New
Zealand and the average score when the teams meet is South Africa 16 New Zealand

This weekend the match will be played in Johannesburg at Ellis Park which gives
South Africa home advantage. For the last three years the teams have met in
Johannesburg and the last two matches were both at Ellis Park. In 2012 the match
was held in Soweto.

Throughout history South Africa have played New Zealand 13 times at Ellis Park
in Johannesburg and they have won nine matches and lost four matches. That gives
South Africa a record of winning 69% of their matches against New Zealand at
Ellis Park.

The average score when South Africa play New Zealand at Ellis Park is South
Africa 24 New Zealand 21.

The last time these teams met was at this venue last year and South Africa
snatched a late victory from a penalty by beating the All Blacks 27-25. This
loss for the All Blacks is their one and only Rugby Championship loss since
the tournament started in 2012.

In terms of form New Zealand started the international season with a not so
convincing victory over Samoa but looked an improved side against Argentina
last week. New Zealand now lead the Rugby Championship standings.

South Africa warmed up for the Rugby Championship with a match against a World
XV that didn’t really test them and last week they were beaten in Brisbane by
Australia who launched a late surge. South Africa are ranked second in the world
but they were beaten by the team ranked sixth and they are now in third place
in the Rugby Championship standings.

A significant number of the All Blacks missed out on playing in the recent
Super Rugby play offs and the final itself and these players have precious little
time to impress head coach Steve Hansen before the squad is cut down to 31 for
the world cup. A number of key players will be desperate to impress this weekend
and they also need a confidence boost.

South Africa have made eight changes to the team that played last week for
this Test. One of those changes is Heinrich Brussow making his first Test start
for South Africa since the 2011 world cup. Another change is the captaincy as
Schalk Burger takes over from Victor Matfield who is currently injured.

Of the eight changes, three are to the pack and five are on the bench. The
backline is unchanged so Handre Pollard retains his place ahead of Patrick Lambie.
Francois Louw will start in the number seven jersey for the injured Marcell
Coetzee in a positional change, with Brussow assuming the openside role. The
only other change to the starting line-up is at lock, where Lood de Jager takes
over from Victor Matfield.

The All Blacks have also made some significant chnages as Lima Sopoaga will
make his international debut as does James Broadhurst. Highlanders Super Rugby
winner Sopoaga replaces Dan Carter with Beauden Barrett on the bench in support.

In the forwards, Dane Coles replaces Keven Mealamu as hooker, with Liam Messam taking Jerome Kaino’s spot at blindside flanker and Broadhurst edging out Luke Romano.

In the backs, Conrad Smith replaces centre Sonny Bill Williams, Aaron Smith comes in at half-back for TJ Perenara and Ben Smith replaces the injured Waiseke Naholo on the right wing.

Bookies have given South

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