TOKYO, JAPAN (SEPTEMBER 19, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)
1. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NEW ZEALAND ALL BLACKS HEAD COACH, STEVE HANSEN, SAYING:
"I don't think we've got a number one starting 15, I think we've got a group of 23 players that we'll use depending on who we're playing and what the opposition are and they're all chop and change, that was our point. And our selecting our 31 we wanted to be able to have the ability to do different things with different people. We never look at, is it important to start, you know, obviously it's important to finish, too. You've got to have people that can do that."
2. WHITE FLASH
3. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NEW ZEALAND ALL BLACKS HEAD CAPTAIN, KIERAN READ, SAYING:
"Look, we'll wait and see to what it brings, but we know that World Cup's different to a regular game and South Africa in our first opening game of the tournament is going to be one of those bigger games you've played over your career. So I'm really looking forward to that, you know, an awesome challenge to face."
STORY: New Zealand head coach coach Steve Hansen on Thursday (September 19) named his team for the All Blacks' blockbuster opening clash with South Africa at the Rugby World Cup, highlighting the squad's versatility and depth.
Beauden Barrett will start at fullback in their Pool B opener against the Springboks in Yokohama on Saturday (September 21), with Richie Mo'unga having been retained at flyhalf.
Barrett has played most of his career at flyhalf but has been shifted to fullback this year in order to accommodate Mo'unga, though he did start the All Blacks' final 92-7 warmup win over Tonga in the number 10 jersey.
Ryan Crotty and Anton Lienert-Brown are the centre pairing. After recovering from a broken thumb, Crotty played his first test of the year against Tonga and Hansen believes his all-round contribution is well-suited for the Boks.
Captain Kieran Read called the upcoming South Africa match "an awesome challenge" that will be one of the bigger games players will play over their career.
(Production: Kwiyeon Ha, Lucien Libert, Chris Gallagher)