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Five things to look forward to: All Blacks v South Africa

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allblacks.com     14 Sep 2016     Getty Images

With Rugby World Cup redemption motivating the Springboks, we take a look at five things to look forward to this weekend.

THE STREAK
There is no more imposing place in the world to play than New Zealand. The All Blacks have been unbeaten on home soil for 43 Test matches since 2009. While that statistic will intimidate most teams, South Africa will be motivated by the fact that they were the last side to beat the All Blacks. In Bryan Habana and Tendai Mtawarira, the Springboks have two survivors from the team that beat the All Blacks in 2009. Their experience will be vital as South Africa seeks to achieve what no other team has done in seven years – defeat the All Blacks in New Zealand. 

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LIONS TO ROAR
The Springboks are bolstered by a number of players from the impressive Lions Investec Super Rugby side. The Lions had a stellar Super Rugby season before succumbing to the Hurricanes in the final. The Super Rugby loss will only add extra motivation to star players like half back Faf de Klerk, first five Elton Jantjies and inspirational No.8 Warren Whiteley. The star trio were central to the Lions success and will be looking to have a similar influence on the Springboks.

ELECTRIC ATMOSPHERE

An electric atmosphere is set to envelop AMI Stadium in Christchurch for this sold-out clash. While the ground doesn’t hold as many people as the earthquake damaged Lancaster Park, fans are much closer to the action at AMI Stadium. Whether live at the ground or watching on TV, you will experience the fervent atmosphere as the All Blacks and South Africa clash for the first time since their Rugby World Cup 2015 semi-final nail-biter. Make sure you follow the All Blacks on twitterfacebook and Instagram to experience the atmosphere as it unfolds.

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THE BUS IS BACK
After an indifferent Super Rugby campaign for the Hurricanes, blockbusting wing Julian Savea appears to be back to his best in the black jersey. Savea has scored tries in his last three Tests to take his overall tally to 42 Test tries and is insight of Doug Howlett’s record of 49 tries for the All Blacks. Against Argentina, Savea led the metres ran with 116 and was a constant threat to the Puma’s defence. South Africa will need to watch the explosive number 11 closely if they are going to keep the All Blacks in check. 

HOMETOWN CAPTAIN
There may be no louder ovation on Saturday than for local hero Kieran Read. With victory over Argentina last week, the All Blacks captain broke Sir Brian Lochore’s world record of winning his first 14 Tests as captain. Kieran Read will be looking for another strong performance on his home turf and might be joined by another Crusaders star in the loose forward trio. Openside flanker Matt Todd has been called in as injury cover for Sam Cane and could find himself in the thick of the action on Saturday night.