Ardie Savea to make 1st test start for NZ vs. South Africa
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) Flanker Ardie Savea will start a test match for the first time, replacing the injured Sam Cane in the No. 7 jersey for the All Blacks in Saturday's Rugby Championship test against South Africa at Christchurch.
Savea has made all five of his previous test appearances off the bench. But he will join his brother Julian in a New Zealand starting lineup for the first time in the absence of Cane, who suffered a serious hamstring injury during last weekend's 57-22 win over Argentina.
New Zealand coach Steve Hansen considered leaving Savea on the bench, to maintain his value as an impact player, and recalling Matt Todd to the starting side for his first since last July.
But Todd has been named on the bench, allowing Savea a starting debut.