Rugby Championship
Lima Sopoaga, James Broadhurst set to debut
ESPN Staff
July 23, 2015
Rugby Championship Preview: South Africa v New Zealand

Lima Sopoaga and James Broadhurst will each make their All Blacks Test debut against the Springboks in Johannesburg on Saturday, replacing Daniel Carter and Luke Romano respectively.

Broadhurst and Sopoaga will be surrounded by a hugely experienced All Blacks side, the starting forward pack boasting exactly 500 Test caps experience with a further 320 caps in the starting backline and 217 on the bench.

Dane Coles comes in at hooker and Liam Messam at blindside flanker, while Aaron Smith returns at half-back and Ma'a Nonu and Conrad Smith reprise their long-standing midfield partnership. Israel Dagg starts again at fullback with Ben Smith named on the right wing.

Lima Sopoaga scored 16 of the Highlanders' points, Highlanders v Chiefs, Super Rugby, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, June 27, 2014
Lima Sopoaga © Getty Images

"This is a massive Test for us and one the whole group is looking forward to," All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said. "It doesn't get much bigger or better than playing South Africa at Ellis Park. Both teams have a massive amount of respect for each other, both on and off the paddock. We know that we will have to step up again this week from our performance against Argentina. Though we were happier with our game last weekend, there is a genuine desire to take it up a level. The Springboks will be desperate after their loss last week and we will have to better that desperation with our own urgency, intensity and accuracy in the execution of our game and skill sets.:

New Zealand: Israel Dagg; Ben Smith, Conrad Smith, Ma'a Nonu, Charles Piutau; Lima Sopoaga, Aaron Smith; Kieran Read, Richie McCaw (captain), Liam Messam; James Broadhurst, Brodie Retallick; Owen Franks, Dane Coles, Tony Woodcock Replacements: Codie Taylor, Wyatt Crockett, Ben Franks, Samuel Whitelock, Victor Vito, TJ Perenara, Beauden Barrett, Malakai Fekitoa.

James Broadhurst will partner Brodie Retallick © Getty Images
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