New Zealand make changes for final round clash against South Africa

Brad Weber returns at scrum-half for New Zealand
Brad Weber returns at scrum-half for New Zealand
©Steve Haag

New Zealand head coach Ian Foster has made changes to the line up for the sixth and final round of the Rugby Championship game against South Africa to be played on Saturday.

Sevu Reece replaces Will Jordan at right wing while Reiko Ioane moves to the left from the midfield. Anton Lienert-Brown returns to the XV joining David Havili in the centre partnership.

While Beauden Barrett retains the fly-half position, Brad Weber returns at scrum-half replacing TJ Perenara. The second positional change sees skipper Ardie Savea moved from number eight to openside with Akira Ioane at blindside while Luke Jacobson also comes at back row.

Scott Barrett and Brodie Retallick continue to be part of second row while Nepo Laulala, Codie Taylor and Joe Moody continue to be part of the front row.

“The fact that we now have the chance to achieve a potential Grand Slam against our southern hemisphere opponents is pretty special. It has already given this weekend’s Test an edge,” said Foster.

He said the New Zealanders, who also regained the world number one ranking during this year’s Rugby Championship, wanted to make amends for some uncharacteristic mistakes last week.

“We didn’t look after the ball as well as we could have and some of our work at the ruck wasn’t as good as we wanted.

“We have to lift our performance in that area and the team is keen to get that right this weekend.”

New Zealand have already claimed the Rugby Championship title after managing to win all their five matches in the tournament until now.

New Zealand XV: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 David Havili, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Luke Jacobson, 7 Ardie Savea (c), 6 Akira Ioane, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody

Reserves: 16 Asafo Aumua, 17 George Bower, 18 Ofa Tuungafasi, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Ethan Blackadder, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Richie Mo’unga, 23 Damian McKenzie