TOKYO – South Africa's Pieter-Steph du Toit has made a successful transition from the second-row to blindside flanker, and now he is set to face a formidable opponent who has made a similar switch.
Ardie Savea has usually packed down as an openside flanker for the All Blacks and the Hurricanes, but is likely to operate on the blindside in his country's World Cup opener with the Springboks at the International Stadium in Yokohama on Saturday.
Savea may combine with renowned breakdown specialist Sam Cane, and they will look to slow down the Springboks' possession on the ground.
But the 25-year-old loose forward – the younger brother of All Blacks wing Julian – has a high work-rate around the pitch, and will also be tough to stop with ball-in-hand.
He broke Springbok hearts by scoring the winning try in the Rugby Championship at Loftus Versfeld in October 2018, and will be closely marked by the South Africans.