Brodie Retallick suffered a dislocated shoulder during New Zealand's Rugby Championship draw with South Africa, Steve Hansen has confirmed.

The second-rower was hurt during a ruck midway through the second half of the game in Wellington on Saturday and left the field in obvious discomfort with an injury to his left arm.

The All Blacks were leading at the time of his departure but a last-gasp Herschel Jantjies try, converted by Handre Pollard, saw the Springboks rally to draw level at 16-16 by the end of the game.

All Blacks boss Hansen confirmed the severity of the injury in his post-match press conference, leaving Retallick facing a fight to recover in time for the Rugby World Cup later this year.

"He's dislocated his shoulder," Hansen said. "Whether he's fractured it as well, we don't know. We just have to sit and wait."

The 28-year-old Retallick is widely considered one of the best players at his position and was part of New Zealand's successful squad at the 2015 World Cup.

This year's tournament begins on September 20, with the reigning champions opening their Pool B campaign against the Springboks the following day.

Hansen will wait for a further update on Retallick but was pleased with the performance from his much-changed team, insisting there was no need to panic despite surrendering the lead so late on in proceedings.

"We've chosen over the last couple of weeks to name two different sides. We haven't had much preparation time," Hansen said.

"We knew due to some of the stuff we were introducing we would be a little off. But there were enough signs there to suggest if we keep working away and get our timing better and get our execution better we will be able to hurt some teams.

"We're not going to panic. We're going to take a deep breath and keep moving."

South Africa denied New Zealand victory in Wellington for a second successive year as Herschel Jantjies' last-gasp try meant a see-saw Rugby Championship clash finished 16-16 on Saturday.

The All Blacks appeared on course to avenge a 36-34 loss to the same opponents at Westpac Stadium last September after they overcame a sloppy first-half performance to seize control.

Jack Goodhue crossed for a 37th-minute try that was converted by Beauden Barrett, who also added a second-half penalty to go alongside six points from the boot of Richie Mo'unga.

However, the home side's hopes of revenge were dashed at the death, Jantjies beating Aaron Smith to Cheslin Kolbe's high kick for a score that was eventually awarded after checking video footage for a knock-on.

A calm and collected Handre Pollard knocked over the resulting conversion with the final kick, leaving honours even and South Africa on top of the table in this year's shortened edition of the competition.

Duane Vermeulen described the opportunity to captain South Africa for the first time as an "unbelievable honour" and promised to lead by example.

Experienced number eight Vermeulen has been named skipper for the Springboks' mammoth Rugby Championship clash with New Zealand in Wellington on Saturday.

And while acknowledging he may not take the most vocal approach to captaincy, Vermeulen is confident he can fulfil the role well with the help of other senior men.

"Only a few players have had the honour of captaining the Springboks in the history of our game, so it is an unbelievable honour for me," Vermeulen told a news conference.

"There's a bit of emotion, but it's controlled emotion.

"The people who know me will tell you that I just love to play and that I am not one for big speeches. I think I lead by example and, from that point of view, it's the way I like to play the game.

"My role in the team still stays the same and we have a big leadership group, which is good for the team. On match days, there's a couple of us who talk on the field."

South Africa defeated the All Blacks at Westpac Stadium last year and Vermeulen added: "I think it will be a massive game with both sides ready to have a good go at each other."

New Zealand may have beaten Argentina by just four points last week but they head into the second round of the Rugby Championship as favourites to see off South Africa.

The Springboks won on their previous visit, although history is very much against them when it comes to away Tests against the All Blacks, with the 57-0 demolition of two years ago still fresh in their minds.

Australia could not handle Rassie Erasmus' men last week but will hope for more success against an Argentina side who have won just two of their past 15 Tests on their travels.

In fact, the Pumas will be bidding to win for only the second time on Australian soil since 1983.

Take a look at the pick of the Opta numbers ahead of round two...

 

Australia v Argentina

- Australia have won 16 of their most recent 18 games against Argentina, including a 45-34 win in their last encounter – the highest total score ever between the two nations.

- The Pumas have only beaten Australia once away from home since 1983 - a 23-19 win in Queensland last September.

- Argentina are on a losing streak of six games, including their past three matches on the road.

- Australia conceded 291 metres in round one, the fewest of any of the four teams and 183 metres lower than their game average from 2018.

- Jeronimo de la Fuente was the only player to make more than 10 carries and 10 tackles in round one (11 carries, 12 tackles).

New Zealand v South Africa

- New Zealand have won 12 of the past 14 Tests against South Africa - including a 32-30 victory last time out - and 22 of their most recent 25 against all opposition.

- The Springboks claimed a 36-34 win on their previous visit to New Zealand and will be hoping for back-to-back wins there for only the third time in their history, after 1937 and 2008-09.

- They have won three of their past four Tests but only triumphed twice in their most recent 12 away Rugby Championship matches.

- The All Blacks are just six points shy of becoming the first team in Test rugby history to reach 16,000 points. No other team has even gone beyond 14,000.

- Ngani Laumape gained 7.2 metres per carry in round one of this year's tournament, the most of any player to make at least 10 carries.

Beauden Barrett will surprisingly start at full-back for the All Blacks in their Rugby Championship clash against South Africa in Wellington on Saturday.

New Zealand edged Argentina 20-16 in their opener at the tournament, which has been shortened this year due to the upcoming Rugby World Cup.

All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen has opted for changes ahead of facing the Springboks, including shifting Barrett – who will play his 75th Test – from fly-half to full-back to make room for Richie Mo'unga.

Joe Moody, Codie Taylor and Owen Franks – who have 184 Test caps between them – are the starting front row, while captain Kieran Read and Sonny Bill Williams return.

"The selectors are once again very excited with the team we've selected and are very much looking forward to seeing them play," Hansen said on Thursday.

"The key for us this week has been to continue building on the very good groundwork we've put in over the last couple of weeks. Whilst we were a little rusty last week, we're looking forward to seeing improvements in all areas of our game this week.

"It's always an exciting occasion when we play the Springboks. We have a lot of respect for them and love playing them, as they bring many challenges to the contest. One of those challenge this week will be to not only match the physicality of the Boks, but to impose our own physicality on the game, and execute our game and our skillsets at a higher level."

The All Blacks have won 12 of their past 14 Tests against the Springboks, with New Zealand having held the Freedom Cup – contested by the two teams – since 2010.

New Zealand: Beauden Barrett, Ben Smith, Jack Goodhue, Sonny Bill Williams, Rieko Ioane, Richie Mo'unga, TJ Perenara; Joe Moody, Codie Taylor, Owen Franks, Brodie Retallick, Samuel Whitelock, Shannon Frizell, Matt Todd, Kieran Read.
Replacements: Dane Coles, Ofa Tu'ungafasi, Angus Ta'avao, Vaea Fifita, Dalton Papalii, Aaron Smith, Anton Lienert-Brown, George Bridge.

Duane Vermeulen will captain South Africa against New Zealand in Saturday's Rugby Championship clash after Rassie Erasmus made 12 changes to his Springboks side.

South Africa defeated Australia 35-17 in Johannesburg last weekend, but Erasmus had already sent a separate group of players to New Zealand to prepare for the All Blacks.

They are joined by Eben Etzebeth, who was skipper last time out, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Makazole Mapimpi in the XV in Wellington.

Number eight Vermeulen leads the side, joining Du Toit and the inexperienced Kwagga Smith in the back row.

Willie le Roux is in at full-back and Cheslin Kolbe is included on the right wing. Damian de Allende, Lukhanyo Am, Handre Pollard and Faf de Klerk are also involved.

Franco Mostert will partner Etzebeth in the second row, while Herschel Jantjies, having debuted last weekend against the Wallabies, has done enough to earn a place on the bench.

Erasmus explained: "We have the utmost respect for the All Blacks who are the undisputed number one rugby team in the world.

"We know we will have to be at our very best to be competitive against the All Blacks on Saturday and that is why we have sent a group of players in advance to Wellington, so they could acclimatise after the long trip over from South Africa.

"The New Zealanders are a very experienced and settled side while we have some catching up to do in terms of where the two sides are at the moment."

 

South Africa XV to face New Zealand: Willie le Roux, Cheslin Kolbe, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Makazole Mapimpi, Handre Pollard, Faf de Klerk; Steven Kitshoff, Malcolm Marx, Frans Malherbe, Eben Etzebeth, Franco Mostert, Kwagga Smith, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Duane Vermeulen.

Replacements: Bongi Mbonambi, Tendai Mtawarira, Trevor Nyakane, RG Snyman, Francois Louw, Herschel Jantjies, Frans Steyn, Jesse Kriel.

Ben Stokes is "flattered" to be nominated for the New Zealander of the Year award but England's Cricket World Cup hero says Kane Williamson should receive the accolade.

Votes were cast for the New Zealand-born all-rounder to claim the prize last week after he was named man of the match following a decisive innings in a World Cup final defeat of the Black Caps at Lord's.

However, Stokes believes New Zealand captain Williamson is the man who should be given the honour.

"I am flattered to be nominated for New Zealander of the Year. I am proud of my New Zealand and Maori heritage but it would not sit right with me to be nominated for this prestigious award," said the 28-year-old.

"There are people who deserve this recognition more and have done a lot more for the country of New Zealand.

"I have helped England lift a World Cup and my life is firmly established in the UK – it has been since I was 12 years old.

"I feel the whole country should align their support to New Zealand captain Kane Williamson. He should be revered as a Kiwi legend. He led his team in this World Cup with distinction and honour. 

"He was the player of the tournament and an inspirational leader of men. He shows humility and empathy to every situation and is an all-round good bloke.

"He typifies what it is to be a New Zealander. He would be a worthy recipient of this accolade. New Zealand, fully support him. He deserves it and gets my vote."

Steve Hansen says beating South Africa on Saturday would be a tonic for New Zealand but he does not anticipate the outcome having any bearing on their Rugby World Cup showdown in September.

The All Blacks started the defence of their Rugby Championship title with a narrow victory over Argentina last weekend, while the Springboks were too good for Australia.

Both victories were secured with understrength sides but rested players are set to return for a showdown at Westpac Stadium, where South Africa triumphed 36-34 in last year's competition.

New Zealand head coach Hansen is relishing the encounter in Wellington but says it will not have an impact on their World Cup Pool B blockbuster in Yokohama on September 21.

"The tradition is really important. We enjoy their company, we think a lot of them, we respect them very much," said Hansen. 

"We love the way they play and we love the challenge they bring to us. From that point of view, it is a really important encounter. It's the next one so it's obviously really, really important.

"In the big scheme of this year does the result matter? I guess it gives whoever wins it a little bit of confidence going into the World Cup. It won't mean whoever wins this one will automatically win the one in the World Cup.

"Even then whoever wins that game doesn't mean the other team is knocked out of the World Cup either because it is the round-robin stage and you'd expect both teams to go through and qualify.

"In the big scheme it gives everybody an opportunity to have a look at each other and feel each other out but I don't think it's going to affect the World Cup."

South Africa have named a strong 36-man touring squad for the Rugby Championship matches against New Zealand and Argentina after fielding an under-strength side for the win over Australia.

The Springboks beat the Wallabies 35-17 on Saturday despite Rassie Erasmus leaving out a string of key men at Ellis Park.

Director of rugby Erasmus' decision to make changes did not backfire, as scrum-half Herschel Jantjies scored two tries in an impressive debut.

Erasmus flew out to New Zealand soon after the victory along with his coaching staff and eight players - including the likes of Eben Etzebeth, Jesse Kriel, Pieter-Steph du Toit.

Fourteen Springboks had already departed two days before the win over Australia to gear up for a showdown with New Zealand in Wellington on Saturday.

Francois Louw, Marcell Coetzee, Tendai Mtawarira and Schalk Brits are among another 10 who will board the plane on Sunday.

South Africa take on Argentina in Salta on August 10 after doing battle with the world champions.

 

South Africa squad:

Forwards: Schalk Brits, Marcell Coetzee, Lood de Jager, Thomas du Toit, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Rynhardt Elstadt, Eben Etzebeth, Lizo Gqoboka, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Francois Louw, Frans Malherbe, Malcolm Marx, Bongi Mbonambi, Tendai Mtawarira, Franco Mostert, Trevor Nyakane, Marvin Orie, Kwagga Smith, RG Snyman, Duane Vermeulen.

Backs: Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Faf de Klerk, Andre Esterhuizen, Warrick Gelant, Elton Jantjies, Herschel Jantjies, Cheslin Kolbe, Jesse Kriel, Makazole Mapimpi, Sbu Nkosi, Willie le Roux, Handre Pollard, Cobus Reinach, Frans Steyn.

 

 

Steve Hansen said New Zealand's hard-fought Rugby Championship win over Argentina gives them "a little bit more money in the bank" having triumphed without so many key men.

Captain Kieran Read, Sam Whitelock, Owen Franks, Joe Moody and Codie Taylor were among the All Blacks to be rested for their opening game of the tournament on Saturday.

The understrength world champions had to dig deep to edge a 20-16 victory over the Pumas, secured courtesy of tries from Ngani Laumape and Brodie Retallick, along with 10 points from the boot of Beauden Barrett.

Head coach Hansen was relieved that his selection gamble paid off ahead of a showdown with South Africa in Wellington next Saturday.

"If you look at the Crusaders not being here [in Buenos Aires] It's a minimum of probably 400 Test caps, but we knew that," Hansen said.

"That's why we talked earlier in the week about risk and reward."

Hansen added: "At times we were rusty, but we did a lot of good things.

"One of the greatest things we did was at the end with all the young fellows on we showed a lot of mental fortitude. So really pleased with that.

"To get away with the win is a little bit more money in the bank."

New Zealand found it "bloody tough" to get the job done against Argentina, number eight Ardie Savea admitted.

The All Blacks came out on top 20-16 in Buenos Aires as they began their Rugby Championship campaign on a winning note.

But after first-half tries from Ngani Laumape and Brodie Retallick, and 10 points from the boot of Beauden Barrett, New Zealand were kept scoreless in the second half.

They were clinging on at the end, and Savea agreed when asked if it felt like a "war" against the Pumas.

Savea told SKY Sport NZ: "It was, mate. It was bloody tough out there.

"The Argentinian players came out firing and just kept coming at us the full 80 minutes. I’m just proud of the boys for sticking in there.

"We just talked about the next moment and dominating the next moment, so when we made mistakes we'd just connect and talk about the the next moment and how we could dominate that, and hopefully gain momentum."

New Zealand will regroup for next weekend's home game against South Africa, and look to work out how Argentina caused them so many difficulties.

"They bought a bit of line speed on our attack and they put our skills under pressure," Savea said.

"And at times their pressure worked. We'll learn from that hopefully."

New Zealand fended off an impressive Argentina side 20-16 in Buenos Aires to secure a winning start to their Rugby Championship campaign.

After South Africa's earlier resounding victory over Australia, this was a match of a different nature and the All Blacks were clinging on at the end for their success on Saturday.

First-half tries from Ngani Laumape and Brodie Retallick looked to have put the visitors in control, but New Zealand went scoreless in the second 40 minutes.

Emiliano Boffelli pulled a try back and, come the closing stages, Argentina were camped close to the New Zealand line.

However, they could not find the second try they required to earn what would have been Argentina's first victory over world champions the All Blacks in 33 attempts.

This clash followed the Jaguares' stunning run to the Super Rugby final, where they fell to New Zealand outfit the Crusaders.

Argentina's starting line-up includes 13 Jaguares players and head coach Mario Ledesma hoped they could deliver a major upset.

A pair of early penalties, the first from Nicolas Sanchez and the second a long-range kick from Boffelli, gave Argentina a 6-0 lead inside six minutes.

Argentina were behind, though, after Laumape breached their defences in the 17th minute and Beauden Barrett booted the conversion.

Sanchez and Barrett traded penalties in quick succession before the latter added his second three-pointer, and Retallick seized on a loose pass to run clear for a crucial try prior to half-time.

Barrett added the two points again, but surprisingly New Zealand would make no further contribution to the scoresheet – the All Blacks failing to score in the second half of A test for the first time since 2011.

New Zealand still achieved a 450th international win but not without a scare.

A fine kick from Sanchez created the chance for Boffelli to dot down in the 47th minute. Sanchez added the conversion and Argentina, largely camped in New Zealand's half, were within a try with over half an hour left on the clock.

Sanchez missed a penalty that could have made it closer still as the Pumas pushed hard to break down New Zealand, being defied at the death when they forced two lineouts close to the try line but could get over from neither.

England's dramatic Cricket World Cup final victory over New Zealand does not feel like a fair result, according to Eoin Morgan.

The showpiece at Lord's went down to a super over, after Ben Stokes had inadvertently deflected Martin Guptill's throw out for a boundary to keep England's chances of victory alive.

Stokes and Jos Buttler then amassed 15 runs in the additional over, a total which was matched by New Zealand, but an incredible contest was settled in England's favour courtesy of Morgan's side hitting more boundaries throughout their innings.

And Morgan conceded he has still not quite been able to make sense of the triumph, and is slightly troubled by winning in such a manner.

"I don't think it's fair to have a result like that when there's very little between the sides," Morgan told the Times.

"I don't think there was one moment that you could say, 'That actually cost the game there'. It was quite balanced.

"I'm black and white. I'm normally going, 'I know. I was there, that happened'. [But] I can't stick my finger on where the game was won and lost.

"I'm not sure winning it makes it any easier. A little bit [troubled], because there's no defining moment that you'd say: 'Yes, we thoroughly deserved it.' It's just been crazy."

Morgan added he has been in contact with his Black Caps counterpart Kane Williamson, who shares his disbelief at how the final panned out.

"I spoke to Kane [Williamson] over the last couple of days on numerous occasions and none of us has come up with a rational explanation as to the various times we gave them the game and they gave it back to us," Morgan added.

"Like me, he can't get his head around everything."

Former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, meanwhile, has no doubt the Black Caps - also runners up in the 2015 World Cup - will bounce back from the result, despite being "broken" at the moment.

"That's the thing and it's going to be so difficult for those guys," McCullum told stuff.co.nz. "I was lucky enough to have a beer with them in the changing room and they were pretty broken, that's for sure.

"They were also really proud of what they did and how well they played. Over the coming months and years, whilst it's still raw now, they'll understand just how magnificent that spectacle was.

"And for it to happen on the biggest of stages, to have played the hand that they played in that match is absolutely amazing."

England all-rounder Ben Stokes has been nominated for the New Zealander of the Year award, less than a week after dashing the Black Caps' Cricket World Cup dreams.

Stokes was instrumental in England's thrilling triumph at Lord's on Sunday, scoring an unbeaten 84 to force a Super Over and then making eight off three balls in the additional six deliveries as Eoin Morgan's side won an all-time classic on boundary count.

In an incident-packed innings, Stokes was caught by Trent Boult in the deep during the penultimate over only for the fielder to step on the rope with the ball in hand, and in the final over England's number five dived and accidentally diverted Martin Guptill's throw to the boundary with his bat, resulting in another crucial six runs.

However, despite playing a pivotal role in beating the Black Caps, Stokes, who was born in Christchurch and moved to England at the age of 12, has still received votes for the New Zealander of the Year award.

"We also received nominations for England's hero Ben Stokes," chief judge Cameron Bennett said in quotes published on the New Zealand Herald's website.

"He might not have been playing for the Black Caps but, having been born in Christchurch, where his parents now live, and with Maori ancestry, there's clearly a few Kiwis about who think we can still claim him."

Black Caps captain Kane Williamson - voted player of the tournament at the World Cup - is also up for the award, along with Abdul Aziz, who chased away a gunman after 51 people were killed in a terror attack on two Christchurch mosques.

The Rugby Championship begins this weekend, with the four nations keen to find form ahead of the upcoming Rugby World Cup in Japan.

New Zealand have won the tournament in each of the past three years and the All Blacks are favourites to once again finish above Australia, Argentina and South Africa.

We run the rule over the quartet ahead of the start of the Rugby Championship, where teams will only face each other once in a World Cup year.

NEW ZEALAND

The All Blacks are chasing more than just a fourth successive title and third consecutive World Cup in the coming months, with a slice of history also on the line. No team has ever won the Rugby Championship - or the Tri-Nations, as it was previously known - and also lifted that year's World Cup.

New Zealand were beaten by South Africa in Wellington during last year's Rugby Championship - the first time in nine years the Springboks had won an away game against the All Blacks - while a 16-9 defeat to Ireland in November will have given the rest of the rugby world further encouragement.

Sonny Bill Williams, who will not feature against Argentina on Saturday, has had an injury-hit Super Rugby season and Kieran Read and Sam Whitelock will be rested for the Pumas clash. However, this is a star-studded team regardless - one that contains 2016 and 2017 World Rugby Player of the Year Beauden Barrett - and they remain the gold standard.

SOUTH AFRICA

The Springboks were runners-up last year and might have finished top of the pile had they not thrown away a 30-13 lead against New Zealand in Pretoria after beating them in their own backyard. They ended the year with seven wins from 14 games so consistency will be the key.

A home Test series success over England was a sign South Africa could be a team to fear under Rassie Erasmus, whose decision to relax the rules on selecting European-based players has paid dividends.

Fly-half Handre Pollard was brilliant during the Super Rugby season, finishing as the league's leading point scorer, though he will be rested against the Wallabies in the opener and Aphiwe Dyantyi is sidelined by a hamstring problem.

AUSTRALIA

The Wallabies endured a horrendous 2018, losing nine of their 13 Tests. They suffered three heavy defeats to the All Blacks and were beaten by both Argentina and South Africa.

Australia slipped to their lowest-ever ranking of seventh following their first loss to the Pumas on home soil since 1983 and then lost two of their three November internationals, against Wales and England. They have not played a game in 2019 but former star full-back Israel Folau has already been making headlines, having been sacked by Rugby Australia following a controversial social-media post in which he wrote "hell awaits…drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters".

Coach Michael Cheika, who has left Quade Cooper out of his squad, made clear he will walk away if Australia do not lift the World Cup in Japan, so this competition should give an indication to his long-term future. Cancer survivor Christian Lealiifano could make his first appearance in three years at this tournament, though he will miss the South Africa clash with a shoulder problem.

ARGENTINA

The Pumas' 2018 did not start well - two home defeats to Wales preceding a 44-15 thrashing at the hands of Scotland in Resistencia - and coach Daniel Hourcade vacated his post, replaced by Mario Ledesma.

Having never won more than once in a single Rugby Championship campaign before, Argentina claimed two victories in 2018 by overcoming South Africa 32-19 in Mendoza and then beating the Wallabies on Australian soil, but they were winless in November Tests against Ireland, France and Scotland.

The Jaguares, who provide the bulk of this Argentina squad, reached their first ever Super Rugby final this year, only to be beaten by the Crusaders, but translating that club success on the international stage is an altogether different challenge.

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