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Thursday 05
December

Rugby Union

Erasmus makes changes for 'huge battle' with All Blacks

24th July 2019, 14:54 by Simon Barlow

Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus has rung the changes ahead of Saturday's Rugby Championship clash wit the All Blacks in Wellington.

Only lock Eben Etzebeth, wing Makazole Mapimpi and flanker Pieter-Steph du Toit retain their places in the starting XV from last weekend's home win over Australia with Erasmus wheeling out the big guns to face the All Blacks.

Duane Vermeulen comes in at number eight and will take over the captaincy from Etzebeth with Siya Kolisi still recovering from injury.

South Africa are bidding for back-to-back home wins over New Zealand and Erasmus has named 18 of the players which featured in the 36-34 victory over the All Blacks in September last year in his squad.

And says he expects a "huge battle" at the Westpac Stadium.

"We have the utmost respect for the All Blacks who are the undisputed No 1 rugby team in the world," he said.

"We know we will have to be at our very best to be competitive against the All Blacks on Saturday and that is why we have sent a group of players in advance to Wellington, so they could acclimatise after the long trip over from South Africa.

"The New Zealanders are a very experienced and settled side while we have some catching up to do in terms of where the two sides are at the moment.

"They are bringing back their Crusaders players, who were all rested after the Vodacom Super Rugby final, so we are in for a huge battle against the best team in the world."

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Simon Barlow has a wealth of journalism experience and in-depth knowledge in a number of sports. As well as his extensive football knowledge, Simon is also well versed on cricket, tennis, American Football and cycling amongst others.

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