All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has helped explain why his side’s rivalry with the Springboks has always been a special one.
The two southern hemisphere giants meet once more at Loftus on Saturday, where New Zealand will be looking to ger revenge after they were stunned by the Boks in Wellington three weekends ago.
Despite that result, the All Blacks will arrive in Pretoria as favourites and while the match does not mean anything in terms of the Rugby Championship standings, it is about much more than that.
“These are Test matches that you live for,” Hansen was quoted as saying by the All Blacks’ official website.
“South Africa is one of the teams we respect the most because of our history and history is important to any team and it’s something that we have a really good understanding of.
“We get on well with them, they’re good sportsmen win, lose or draw. We enjoy each other’s company and this weekend is going to be nothing but the same.”
Hansen is expecting a titanic battle, not much different from what happened in Wellington.
“We’ve got to earn the right to win this game by playing some really good rugby and we know what we are going to get,” he said.
“I don’t see it changing too much from Wellington; they’ll be in our face, they’ll be passionate and they’ll go the whole 80 and there’s going to be quite a lot of pain from the lung point of view I suggest for both sides.
“For a long time I think they have been a good side without having that self-belief, I think they’re starting to get it which makes them really dangerous.”
Kick-off on Saturday is at 17:05.
15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Francois Louw, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Damian Willemse
15 Ben Smith, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Sam Whitelock, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe
Substitutes: 16 Nathan Harris, 17 Tim Perry, 18 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Richie Mo’unga, 23 Ryan Crotty