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Rugby Championship: All Blacks-Springboks, century-old shock


The two behemoths of the South meet again this Saturday for the first time since the group match of the 2019 World Cup won by the New Zealanders.

A reunion at the top, two years after the World Cup: New Zealand and South Africa face each other on Saturday in Townsville (Australia) in a crucial duel for the Rugby Championship title, the hundredth in history between the two nations.

Since September 21, 2019 and a victory for the All Blacks in front of the Springboks (23-13), in the group stage of the last World Cup in Japan, the two heavyweights of world rugby had not crossed paths.

The hundredth clash should have been played out last year.

But the package of South African world champions for the prestigious Southern Hemisphere tournament, for reasons related to Covid-19, had put things off until later.

All Blacks and Springboks, the only triple world champions

Between the All Blacks and the Springboks, the only triple world champions, "

it's a rivalry steeped in history and very memorable matches

," recalled New Zealand's No. 10 Beauden Barrett at the start of the week, "

impatient to play this 100th game

”. The former best player in the world (2016, 2017), left on the bench against Argentina (36-13) last Saturday to turn, started at the opening to try to guide his team to an eighth title since 2012, year of the transition to four nations with the Pumas.

Unsinkable so far this year, including four bonus wins in four Rugby Championship matches, Ian Foster's men only need one defensive bonus point to achieve their goals.

With a reshuffled squad, they again outclassed the Pumas last Saturday.

But against the Springboks, who remain on two defeats against Australia, Foster emerged heavy artillery, making eight changes among the holders of the match against Argentina.

In addition to Beauden Barrett, the coach has put forward Codie Taylor, Nepo Laulala and Brodie Retallick in his starting XV.

Read also Rugby: the Springboks must "find their DNA" against the All Blacks, insists Faf de Klerk

The Springboks, for their part, will still have to do without Cheslin Kolbe, too tight physically (leg).

But they can count on the rest of their workforce, including the return of second line Lood de Jager, recovered from a concussion.

World champions will try to return to success and, above all, with their identity game. "

We're a bit far from the way we play normally, our DNA, and that may be the guys in pressure, forcing them to overplay a bit,

”scrum-half Faf De Klerk said during the week.

Program for the 5th day of the Rugby Championship Saturday (Paris time)

9:05 a.m .: New Zealand v South Africa

12:05 p.m .: Australia




: 1. New Zealand 20 points;

2. South Africa 10;

3. Australia 9;

4. Argentina 0.

Source: lefigaro

All sports articles on 2021-09-24

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