Rugby World Cup: Stellar All Blacks line-up face Boks this weekend

Rugby World Cup: Stellar All Blacks line-up face Boks this weekend

- The All Blacks have named a strong team to face the Springboks in the Rugby World Cup opener on Saturday

- Beauden Barret again switches to fullback to accommodate Richie Mo'unga at flyhalf

- Jerome Garces will officiate the contest after he sent off New Zealand lock Scott Barrett in their 47-26 loss to Australia

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The All Blacks have named a star-studded line-up for the contest against the Springboks on Saturday.

The World Cup kicks off on Friday and the encounter between South Africa and New Zealand promises to be one of the matches of the tournament.

The last time these two teams met, the Springboks scored a late try to sneak a 16-16 draw in the Rugby Championship.

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That result was seen as a moral victory for the Boks as it was played in New Zealand and South Africa ended up winning the competition.

One of the talking points for the All Blacks has been the position of Beauden Barret, who has been a match-winner at flyhalf.

However, coach Steve Hansen has also been trying to accommodate the mercurial Richie Mo'unga in the starting line-up.

As a result, Barret will drop back into the fullback position and Mo'unga retains the number 10 jersey.

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A potential good omen for the Boks is that Jerome Garces will officiate the contest and it was he who sent off All Black lock Scott Barrett in the humiliating 47 - 26 defeat to the Wallabies in July.

Scott Barrett will start on Saturday again and will be partnered by Sam Whitelock in the second row. This is due to Brodie Retallick's unavailability due to injury.

Hansen has picked the in-form centre pairing in midfield of Ryan Crotty and Anton Lienert-Brown, with Sonny Bill Williams possibly coming off the bench to make a second half impact.

New Zealand starting line-up:

15-Beauden Barrett, 14-Sevu Reece, 13-Anton Lienert-Brown, 12-Ryan Crotty, 11-George Bridge, 10-Richie Mo’unga, 9-Aaron Smith, 8-Kieran Read, 7-Sam Cane, 6-Ardie Savea, 5-Scott Barrett, 4-Sam Whitelock, 3-Nepu Laulala, 2-Dane Coles, 1-Joe Moody


16-Codie Taylor, 17-Ofa Tuungafasi, 18-Angus Ta’avao, 19-Patrick Tuipulotu, 20-Shannon Frizell, 21-TJ Perenara, 22-Sonny Bill Williams, 23-Ben Smith.

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