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Another start for Anton-Lienert Brown

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Lynn McConnell     06 Oct 2016     Getty Images

Coach Steve Hansen said the decision to give Anton Lienert-Brown another start was reward for his play last week against Argentina while Ryan Crotty had cemented himself at second five-eighths with some sublime form and it allowed the selectors to put the younger people around him like George Moala and Malakai Fekitoa.

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"When you get a performance like we got off Alby [Lienert-Brown] we feel it would only be right to give him another go and then we'll make a decision after that about whether he has had enough as a young player and does he need a break but we think he's got another one in him before we do that. While he's rolling hot we'll keep him rolling," he said.

Perenara kept his spot after Aaron Smith's one-game suspension and return home.

Other changes see flanker Jerome Kaino return to the side, Matt Todd named to start at flanker and Waisake Naholo to play on the wing in place of Julian Savea.

Hansen said the selection was based on how the All Blacks wanted to play the game and what was best for them.

"It's an opposition we've got a lot of respect for and we know they'll be really physical and if they pick [Morne] Steyn at five-eighths they'll kick a bit more than what they did against us in Christchurch. But they are a different beast at home, the South Africans and if you look at the record here in Durban we've played them eight times and only won three of them.

"The inconvenient facts are that they go well here so we'll need to play well too," he said.
Hansen said Ardie Savea had had a busy programme since Sam Cane got injured and as a young player the selectors had asked a lot of him and he would benefit from a bit of a breather to come off the bench while Todd has the selectors' faith to start the game.

"It just allows us to continue to grow Ardie without putting too much pressure on him.

"Waisake Naholo has trained well and is ready to go so at some point we have to start him so we have decided this is the Test match."

Julian Savea had also had a 'pretty big work rate' and had been really physical in the last Test against Argentina and got through a power of work and the other thinking was that Israel Dagg gave them a really good high ball catch and with the prospect of rain his choice gave them a second fullback.

They had confidence in Savea to do that and the big thing was that he played so physically last week and could benefit from a breather as well.

The fact the team was still ticking along so smoothly at the end of the Championship was down to the management of the side.

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"When you look at your front rowers they only play 40 minutes, or 50 minutes, then they swap over because of the nature of the game we're playing. Sammy [Whitelock] got half a game, and Brodie [Retallick] got half a game so that freshened them both up a wee bit. JK's [Jerome Kaino] had a good freshen up, TJ's [Perenara] is rearing to go, Beauden [Barrett] is just on fire so we don't want to stop playing him, and I think the midfield are really enjoying their rugby so they're not even thinking about being tired and the back three we have made a change.

"While it seems to be the same faces all the time, I think we have been reasonably clever or smart, describe it however you want in giving people little mini-breaks to get them to where we are now," Hansen said.