x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Carter has the chance to surpass Wilkinson

The New Zealand fly-half is just two points from holding the Test rugby record.

Dan Carter will have the chance to overtake Jonny Wilkinson's Test points record after being named in New Zealand's starting side for today's Tri Nations game against South Africa.

After missing last week's Test against Fiji, Carter replaces Colin Slade at fly-half and needs just two points to overhaul Wilkinson's mark of 1,195 points.

In other changes, Jerome Kaino comes in at blindside flanker and Cory Jane will play on the wing, while Sam Whitelock also returns.

Sonny Bill Williams could make his home Test debut after being named on the bench in place of Ben Smith.

Graham Henry, the coach, expects a Springboks backlash after they lost their Tri Nations opener against Australia 39-20.

"They are a proud rugby nation and won't want a repeat performance, so we will have to be ready for that challenge," Henry said.

"But we have had a good build-up this week and have picked a team we know will be up for that challenge."

Peter de Villiers, the Springboks coach, has been backed by his captain, John Smit. De Villiers has been the subject of much criticism around the rugby world, as much for his public comments as anything else, but Smit was assured in his defence of his coach in Wellington.

"We're in our fourth year with Peter. We haven't seen too many players running away just yet but the stories continue," he said.