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Waisake Naholo back in black as New Zealand take aim at 'Boks

The wing has endured a torrid time with injury, but has managed to win seven Test caps since his debut last year.

Image: Rob Griffith

NEW ZEALAND HEAD coach Steve Hansen has handed wing Waisake Naholo a recall after six weeks sidelined with a hamstring injury.

The Highlanders star replaces Julian Savea in the only change to the All Black back-line for Saturday’s Test against South Africa in Durban.

TJ Perenara continues to partner Beauden Barrett after Aaron Smith’s toilet cubical scandal.

In the pack, Sam Whitelock and Jerome Kaino return in place of Patrick Tuipulotu and Liam Squire. Matt Todd will win his fifth cap at openside, edging Ardie Savea to the replacements bench.

“We’ve been able to bring fresh players back into the group which is vital at this time of the year and allows us to continue to grow some depth,” Hansen said after announcing his team.

“We are especially looking forward to this game as any Test match against South Africa is seen as one of the matches of the season.

We’re expecting to be facing a very confident South African team after their win over Australia, and a torrid battle against our traditional foe. We’re expecting them to throw the kitchen sink at us.

“We’ve had a well-planned preparation this week, with the aim of ensuring that we have a full tank come Saturday, and also clarity in our game so that we can bring our own physicality and intensity to the contest.”

New Zealand (v South Africa)

15. Ben Smith
14. Israel Dagg
13. Anton Lienert-Brown
12. Ryan Crotty
11. Waisake Naholo
10. Beauden Barrett
9.  TJ Perenara

1. Joe Moody
2. Dane Coles
3. Owen Franks
4. Brodie Retallick
5. Samuel Whitelock
6. Jerome Kaino
7. Matt Todd
8. Kieran Read


16. Codie Taylor
17. Wyatt Crockett
18. Charlie Faumuina
19. Liam Squire
20. Ardie Savea
21. Tawera Kerr-Barlow
22. Lima Sopoaga
23. George Moala

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About the author:

Sean Farrell

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