Hames handed first All Blacks start

14 September 2017 19:18:00 GMTPlus11
Steve Hansen

Kane Hames will make his first Test start as New Zealand look to consolidate top spot in the Rugby Championship with a win over South Africa.

Hames, who has come off the bench in his two previous All Blacks appearances, is one of eight changes to Steve Hansen's side.

Vaea had a very good game, but we still think that Liam's the man for this job.

Steve Hansen

The prop will start at loosehead after being called into the squad to replace Joe Moody, who suffered a season-ending dislocated shoulder in the win over Argentina last weekend.

The 29-year-old is the one major surprise in the matchday 23 to face the Springboks in Albany.

Hames made his debut against the Wallabies in Sydney in 2016, and came off the bench against the same opposition in Dunedin in the second Bledisloe Cup clash last month.

As well as Moody, fellow front-rower Owen Franks is out for the rest of the year while experienced backup Charlie Faumuina has moved to France.

So the rest of the year will tell the All Blacks a lot about their depth at prop, according to assistant coach Ian Foster.

"We probably need a little more depth in that position, and there's no better way to get it than to back someone, stick them in and let them go," said Foster.

Nehe Milner-Skudder gets his second straight start on the wing, this time slotting in on the right side for Israel Dagg (knee).

Vaea Fifita, who starred in last week's win over the Pumas, drops out with a minor injury. But Hansen said he would have named Liam Squire at blindside flanker anyway.

"Vaea had a very good game, but we still think that Liam's the man for this job. Vaea's still got growth in his game to have and he's got a bit of a sore shoulder anyway so wasn't available, but Liam's the form man and we should feel he's doing a good job for us," added the coach.

New Zealand are 1.11 to beat the Springbokes, who are 6.50.

The All Blacks are 1.90 conceding an 18.5-points start.

View all Rugby Union betting

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