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South Africa Unchanged For Semi-Final Against England

  • SPORT
  • 2 min read

South Africa resisted any temptation to tinker with their team and on Thursday named the same side that eliminated host France in the Rugby World Cup for Saturday’s semi-final against England.

It means coach Jacques Nienaber stays with the tried and tested and, with a total of 895 caps, it is the most experienced starting line-up the Springboks have ever fielded.

“Competition for places in the team is very tight and the coaches had a few in depth discussions before finalising the team,” he told a press conference.

“But there were no medical issues. The guys who got selected deserve it. If you have continued selection, your chances of success are better. Continuity builds momentum and confidence within the group.”

South Africa edged France 29-28 in a thrilling quarter-final on Sunday, marked by its physical intensity, but emerged without any injury concerns.

Fifteen of the Springbok’s match day 23 played in the 2019 World Cup final, where they beat England 32-12 in Yokohama.

“This may not have much significance, but the fact remains that these players have been here before, and they know what it will take to defeat a top-quality team such as England,” Nienaber said.

“They’ve got a unique kicking game that they employ,” he said.

“They are comfortable not playing with the ball and they like to suffocate and strangle you. Tactically we know what is coming our way so we must make sure we execute our plans.”

South Africa: 15-Damian Willemse, 14-Kurt-Lee Arendse, 13-Jesse Kriel, 12-Damian de Allende, 11-Cheslin Kolbe, 10-Manie Libbok, 9-Cobus Reinach, 1-Steven Kitshoff, 2-Bongi Mbonambi, 3-Frans Malherbe, 4-Eben Etzebeth, 5-Franco Mostert, 6-Siya Kolisi, 7-Pieter-Steph du Toit, 8-Duane Vermeulen

Replacements: 16-Deon Fourie, 17-Ox Nche, 18-Vincent Koch, 19-RG Snyman, 20-Kwagga Smith, 21-Faf de Klerk, 22-Handre Pollard, 23-Willie Le Roux.

Reuters