Hansen: All Blacks ready to create history

New Zealand already have The Rugby Championship zipped up but head coach Steve Hansen admits history is on the line ahead of their final clash with South Africa on Saturday. [more]

Steve Hansen

New Zealand already have The Rugby Championship zipped up but head coach Steve Hansen admits history is on the line ahead of their final clash with South Africa on Saturday.

The All Blacks, who will host The British & Irish Lions in 2017, can equal the all-time tier one record for consecutive Test wins at 17 should they beat the Springboks on their own patch.

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And with that target in mind, Hansen is in no doubt that his side will relish the chance to create more history in Durban.

"It's like everything else, if you try to avoid it, it creates more pressure so if you do talk about it and embrace it, it then becomes a challenge,” said Hansen, whose side have won eight of their last nine matches against South Africa. “Whether you are successful or not is irrelevant – that's the outcome but it is certainly something that motivates this group. 

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"They want to be seen as a team that are a great All Blacks side and to be a great All Blacks side you have to do things that other teams haven't done.”

"The challenge of playing the @Springboks in South Africa is a huge one."#RSAvNZL #TeamAllBlacks #RugbyChampionship pic.twitter.com/WxBTch9WZe

— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) October 3, 2016

Waisake Naholo wings back into the starting XV after being hobbled by a hamstring strain, replacing Julian Savea as the only change to the back-line.

Jerome Kaino has also recovered from injury and claims back the blindside flanker jersey from Liam Squire, while Matt Todd – starting for the first time – is preferred to Ardie Savea on the openside and Sam Whitelock comes in for Patrick Tuipulotu in the second-row.

At scrum-half, TJ Perenara makes his second successive start – with Aaron Smith banned – and Hansen has no qualms with placing his trust in the 24-year-old yet again.

"Obviously he's (Smith) a world-class player and you want to be able to play him but TJ has had three good stints there now," added Hansen.

"He played really well when he came off the bench against Argentina (in Hamilton), a good portion of the game against South Africa in Christchurch and then got a start against Argentina and played well."
New Zealand: 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 Sam Whitelock, 6 Jerome Kaino, 7 Matt Todd, 8 Kieran Read (c).
Replacements: 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.

South Africa:15 Pat Lambie, 14 Francois Hougaard ,13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Faf de Klerk; 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Oupa Mahoje, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Tendai Mtawarira.

Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Julian Redelinghuys, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Willem Alberts, 21 Jaco Kriel, 22 Lionel Mapoe, 23 Willie le Roux

Argentina v Australia

The Rugby Championship comes to the northern hemisphere tomorrow as Argentina and Australia clash at Twickenham.

And both sides are looking to bow out of this year's edition on a high, with Argentina on the search for their second win while the Wallabies are licking their wounds following their 18-10 defeat to the Springboks.

It is not the first time that these two teams have met at Twickenham as Australia beat Argentina en route to the Rugby World Cup final last year in a 29-15 victory.

Big boys @LTimani and Rory Arnold are set to tear into @unionargentina after Michael Cheika made two changes for Twickenham clash #ARGvAUS pic.twitter.com/4p3trKeCFD

— Qantas Wallabies (@qantaswallabies) 6 October 2016

Since the World Cup, however, Australia have lost six of their last eight Tests and for fly-half Quade Cooper, a morale-boosting win would be too valuable to pass up.

"Playing at Twickenham's a great opportunity and whether the crowd is for or against us, as long as we're united as a team, that's all that matters to us," said Cooper.

"That's what we're going to focus on, and the crowd can support whoever they want. We're going to go out there united and do that best we can against Argentina."

Argentina: 15 Joaquin Tuculet, 14 Matias Moroni, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, 11 Manuel Montero, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Martin Landajo, 8 Leonardo Senatore,  7Javier Ortega Desio, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Matias Alemanno, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 AgustIn Creevy, 1 Lucas Noguera

Replacements: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Santiago Garcia Botta, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Marcos Kremer, 20 Tomas Cubelli, 21 Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 22 Jeronimo de la Fuente, 23 Ramiro Moyano 

Australia: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Bernard Foley, 11 Reece Hodge, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Lopeti Timani, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Dean Mumm, 5  Adam Coleman, 4 Rory Arnold, 3-Sekope Kepu, 2 Stephen Moore (captain), 1-Scott Sio.

Replacements (one to be ommitted): 16 James Hanson, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Alan Alaalatoa, 19 Kane Douglas, 20 Scott Fardy, 21Leroy Houston, 22 Nick Phipps, 23 Tevita Kuridrani, 24 Sefa Naivalu. 

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