It will be exactly 53 weeks and seven test matches on from tonight’s Rugby Championship clash with the All Blacks in Wellington that the Springboks will be facing down the same opponents in the World Cup in Japan.
The Springboks have it all do in Wellington after suffering a second straight rugby Championship loss to Australia last weekend.
They went down 23‑18 in Brisbane following their previous defeat by Argentina.
The two proud rugby nations have done battle 95 times since 1921, with New Zealand winning 57 times, South Africa 35, and three draws playing out over the course of 97 years.
The All Blacks have also won the past six matches between these teams and 11 of the previous 12.
The Springboks have only won three times in New Zealand during the Tri‑Nations and Rugby Championship era in 1998, 2008 and 2009.
New Zealand thrashed the Springboks at home in the 2017 Rugby Championship and the last time South Africa played the Kiwis on their own turf it was a record‑breaking 57‑0 hiding.
Among seven changes to his side, Hansen has moved to counter the Springboks' expected kicking game with Jordie Barrett returning to full‑back, Ben Smith moving to the right wing and speedster Rieko Ioane returning from injury to fill the left wing slot.
The Springboks will take on the All Blacks at 7.35pm.
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