Sonny Bill Williams has been laid low by illness this week and won't play against South Africa. Photo: David Gray/Reuters

CAPE TOWN – The Springboks are going into Saturday’s big clash against the All Blacks after two consecutive defeats, but they were given some relief on Thursday.

While New Zealand coach Steve Hansen recalled all his big guns for the Wellington Test, after resting several players against Argentina last week, he won’t be able to bring on Sonny Bill Williams.

While Ryan Crotty and Anton Lienert-Brown were named as the starting centre pair, Williams was included on the bench by Hansen after recovering from a shoulder problem.

But now the 33-year-old playmaker won’t run out at the Westpac Stadium at all, as he has been laid low by illness.

“UPDATE: All Blacks midfielder @SonnyBWilliams has been withdrawn from this weekend’s Freedom Cup Test against South Africa as he has been unwell this week. He has been replaced on the bench by Jack Goodhue #NZLvRSA #InvestecRugbyChampionship” the All Blacks tweeted.

Hansen told the stuff.co.nz website: “He’s had tonsilitis all week and, at the end of the day, it was (a question of) whether we chuck him out in the reserve bench and flatten him, if he has to come on and play 80 minutes, or take the risk that he only has to play 20.”

Jack Goodhue of the Crusaders will come in as midfield cover on the bench for Saturday’s clash, which kicks off at 9.35am SA time.

Revised All Black Team

15 Jordie Barrett 14 Ben Smith 13 Anton Lienert-Brown 12 Ryan Crotty 11 Rieko Ioane 10 Beauden Barrett 9 Aaron Smith 8 Kieran Read (captain) 7 Sam Cane 6 Liam Squire 5 Scott Barrett 4 Sam Whitelock 3 Owen Franks 2 Codie Taylor 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe.

Bench: 16 Liam Coltman 17 Tim Perry 18 Ofa Tu’ungafasi 19 Patrick Tuipulotu 20 Ardie Savea 21 TJ Perenara 22 Jack Goodhue 23 Damian McKenzie.

@ashfakmohamed

 

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