CAPE TOWN – One thing Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus is looking forward to is seeing how Kwagga Smith goes against the All Blacks on Saturday after a “proper build-up to Test rugby”.
Erasmus yesterday named a much-changed team for their Wellington showdown, with 12 changes to the starting team that beat the Wallabies 35-17 in their Rugby Championship opener at Ellis Park last week.
The rest of the line-up mostly consists of the first group of players who travelled to New Zealand last Thursday.
Smith - who comes in at openside flank - is one of those changes, while Pieter-Steph du Toit retains his spot at blindside flank. Duane Vermeulen will fill out the loose trio at No 8, and he also takes over the captaincy from Eben Etzebeth.
It will be only Smith’s second Test; the first coming against Wales in Washington last year, where preparation time was limited and Erasmus employed a similar split-squad approach.