All Blacks make one change for Springboks in World Cup

Richie McCaw has been awarded the Order of New Zealand

New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen has made one injury enforced change to his All Blacks team for their Rugby World Cup Semi-final against South Africa at Twickenham.

The All Black team shows just one change to the side that beat France in the quarter final with Joe Moody coming in for Wyatt Crockett who has a groin injury.

Cover for Crockett will be provided on the replacements bench by Ben Franks.

Eight players will extend their records as the most capped All Blacks in their position this weekend: Richie McCaw (openside flanker), Keven Mealamu (hooker), Owen Franks (tighthead prop), Kieran Read (number eight), Jerome Kaino (blindside flanker), Daniel Carter (first five-eighth), Ma’a Nonu (second five-eighth) and Conrad Smith (centre).

“We’ve had a great preparation so far this week,” said All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen.

“We’ve put a full stop on last weekend’s performance and have been slowly building throughout the week to produce another game we can all be proud of.

“Though we’ve met many times over the years, we’ve only played three times at the Rugby World Cup and these Cup finals matches are totally different. They have a live or die nature to them and both teams will be desperate to advance.

“As a group we’re really looking forward to this challenge. It will require a massive amount of intensity and composure and accurate skill execution. This team has high expectations of itself and enjoys the big occasions.

“We’re all very much looking forward to Saturday. It’s the fun part of the week where we get to express our skills, physicality and mental strength; all things we’ve been working really hard on this week.”

Steve Hansen has also acknowledged the fantastic amount of support the All Blacks have received throughout the Rugby World Cup.

“On behalf of the team, we’d like to take the opportunity to thank all our families, fans and supporters, both here in the UK, at home and around the world. Their support has not gone unnoticed by the team. We’re very grateful to be able to represent them and our country and we’ll be endeavouring to once again make them all proud.”

New Zealand

1. Joe Moody ,2. Dane Coles ,3. Owen Franks 4. Brodie Retallick , 5. Samuel Whitelock, 6. Jerome Kaino , 7. Richie McCaw (c), 8. Kieran Read, 9. Aaron Smith, 10. Daniel Carter, 11. Julian Savea, 12. Ma’a Nonu , 13. Conrad Smith, 14. Nehe Milner-Skudder , 15. Ben Smith

Replacements : 16. Keven Mealamu , 17. Ben Franks , 18. Charlie Faumuina , 19. Victor Vito , 20. Sam Cane, 21. Tawera Kerr-Barlow , 22. Beauden Barrett, 23. Sonny Bill Williams

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