South Africa: Morne Steyn left out against All Blacks

Morne Steyn
Morne Steyn played in last weekend's one-point defeat by Australia

South Africa have called up rookie Handre Pollard for their Rugby Championship match against New Zealand on Saturday.

Pollard, 20, has been preferred to the experienced Morne Steyn, who has been left out for the game in Wellington.

"We feel Handre has the skills for this game," coach Heyneke Meyer said.

New Zealand welcome back fly-half Aaron Cruden after he recovered from the chest injury that ruled him out of last week's clash against Argentina.

South Africa captain Jean de Villiers will win his 100th Test cap in a match his side must win to leapfrog the All Blacks in the four-nation championship.

Pollard was recently named the World Junior Player of the Year and started at 10 in the Springboks' opening two wins of the Championship against Argentina.

He missed last weekend's 24-23 defeat by Australia, in which Steyn played.

"Handre has played well in the Tests he has started and has produced some very impressive performances for the Junior Springboks," Meyer said.

"I'm sure he can build on that."

Meanwhile, Meyer paid tribute to centurion De Villiers, calling the 33-year-old "one of the greatest captains" he had worked with.

"When the big names in South African rugby are mentioned, Jean will forever be among them," Meyer said.

All Blacks fly-half Cruden has overcome the chest injury he suffered the injury in the 51-20 victory over Australia last month.

Cruden's absence allowed Beauden Barrett to make his first start at fly-half in Napier and he now shifts to the bench. Colin Slade drops out of the matchday squad.

New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen has made two other changes to his starting side with lock Sam Whitelock and loose forward Liam Messam each ruled out for at least a month.

Jeremy Thrush, who came on for Whitelock last week, has been elevated to the starting side, while Steven Luatua has come onto the blindside of the scrum.

Second-placed South Africa, who have nine points, are three points behind the All Blacks after three rounds of the Championship.

New Zealand: Dagg, Smith, Smith, Nonu, Savea, Cruden, Smith, Read, McCaw (capt), Luatua, Thrush, Retallick, Franks, Coles, Crockett. Replacements: Mealamu, Moody, Franks, Tuipulotu, Cane, Perenara, Barrett, Jane.

South Africa: Le Roux, Hendricks, Serfontein, De Villiers (capt), Habana, Pollard, Pienaar, Vermeulen, Coetzee, Louw, Matfield, Etzebeth, J Du Plessis, Strauss, Mtawarira. Replacements: B Du Plessis, Nyakane, Van der Merwe, De Jager, Whiteley, Hougaard, Lambie, De Allende.

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