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Flyhalf Beauden Barrett will move to fullback and Richie Mo’unga will start in the No. 10 jersey for the All Blacks team, which will play the Springboks in a Rugby Championship test on Saturday.
Barrett, a two-time World Rugby Player of the Year, and Mo’unga, who has guided the Crusaders to the Super Rugby title again this season, will start a test match together for the first time in what may be a preview of New Zealand’s World Cup combination.
Fans have been calling for months for Mo’unga to be accommodated in the All Blacks’ starting lineup after his confident performances in Super Rugby. At the same time Barrett appears to have lost some of his ability to control games from flyhalf; his kicking has become erratic under pressure and his passes are often poorly timed.
That was evident in his performance against Argentina last week, when the All Blacks struggled to a 20-16 win.
Mo’unga will be starting a test for only the third time but already seems to have the confidence and the steadiness under pressure to cope in the test arena.
Coach Steven Hansen has made sweeping changes to the lineup that started against the Pumas. In a totally revamped backline, T.J. Perenara will start ahead of Aaron Smith at scrumhalf, Sonny Bill Williams and Jack Goodhue will combine in midfield, Ben Smith will
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