All you need to know ahead of the All Blacks clash against South Africa in Wellington.

All Blacks v South Africa, Saturday July 27, 7.35pm kickoff (NZT)

The All Blacks run out onto the turf at Westpac Stadium tonight looking to avenge their loss to the Springboks at the same venue a year prior.

The South Africans claimed a 36-34 win in Wellington in September last year after overcoming an early deficit and held off a strong comeback effort from the All Blacks in the second half. 17 of the Springboks' 23-man squad tonight featured in that win, with 12 of those 17 taking up residence in the starting XV. The All Blacks have just 12 of the same 23 from last year's encounter lining up today, nine of whom are in the starting side.

Both sides come into the game with a win under their belts in the first week of the Championship.

Advertisement
Sonny Bill Williams will make his return for the All Blacks against South Africa in Wellington. Photo / Getty Images
Sonny Bill Williams will make his return for the All Blacks against South Africa in Wellington. Photo / Getty Images

Squads

All Blacks:

Beauden Barrett, Ben Smith, Jack Goodhue, Sonny Bill Williams, Rieko Ioane, Richie Mo'unga, TJ Perenara, Kieran Read (c), Matt Todd, Shannon Frizell, Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick, Owen Franks, Codie Taylor, Joe Moody.

Reserves:

Dane Coles, Ofa Tuungafasi, Angus Ta'avao, Vaea Fifita, Dalton Papali'i, Aaron Smith, Anton Lienert-Brown, George Bridge.

Springboks: Willie Le Roux, Cheslin Kolbe, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Makazole Mapimpi, Handre Pollard, Faf de Klerk, Duane Vermeulen, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Kwagga Smith, Franco Mostert, Eden Etzebeth, Frans Malherbe, Malcolm Marx, Steven Kitshoff. Reserves: Mbongeni Mbonambi, Tendai Mtawarira, Trevor Nyakane, RG Snyman, Francois Louw, Herschel Jantjies, Francois Steyn, Jesse Kriel.

Why is Beauden Barrett playing at fullback?

Steve Hansen has admitted he and his fellow selectors have been thinking about the Richie Mo'unga and Beauden Barrett dual playmaking combination for "quite a while" and that now, with four tests remaining until the World Cup, is the time to try it.

Beauden Barrett will play fullback while Richie Mo'unga wears the No 10 jersey. Photo / Getty Images
Beauden Barrett will play fullback while Richie Mo'unga wears the No 10 jersey. Photo / Getty Images

"We've got a plan for a whole lot of things we want to do before the nitty gritty business and we just felt Saturday's game is the right time to try that particular part of the plan," Hansen said ahead of the test.

"Obviously to replace Beauden at first-five you've got to have someone who's pretty good and Richie has been playing very well for the last couple of years and at some point you want all of your best players on the park. Both of them are world-class players."

Advertisement

How to watch

The Herald will be live blogging the match from 7pm and Radio Sport will have live commentary. Sky coverage starts at 6.30pm on Sky Sport 1.

TAB odds

New Zealand:

$1.24

South Africa:

$4.05

Draw:

$21

Head-to-head

The two sides have played 97 matches against each other with the All Blacks winning 58, the Springboks winning 36 and the sides drawing three times.

Last match: All Blacks won 32-30, Pretoria (October 6, 2018)
Largest All Blacks winning margin: 57-0, Albany (September 16, 2017)