England team to play South Africa: 2023 Rugby World Cup - Ruck

England team to play South Africa: 2023 Rugby World Cup

Head coach Steve Borthwick selects his England team to play South Africa today ahead of their Rugby World Cup semi-final in Paris.

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Scroll down for the England team to play South Africa.

England reached the semi-finals after they topped Pool D and then defeated Fiji 30-24 in their quarter-final. The Springboks, meanwhile, came runner-up in Pool B and then beat hosts France 29-28 in their quarter-final.

England and South Africa have met five times previously at the World Cup; during two pool stages (2003 and 2007), a quarter-final (1999) and two finals (2007 and 2019).

Overall, England and South Africa have played each other on 45 occasions since their first meeting in 1906. The Springboks have won 27 matches, whilst England have won 16 matches. There have also been two drawn matches between the two sides.

Team news:

Owen Farrell will lead the starting XV in a lineup featuring three alterations from the team that secured a 30-24 victory against Fiji in the Sunday quarter-final clash in Marseille. The changes involve Joe Marler’s return as the loosehead prop, George Martin’s inclusion in the second row, and Freddie Steward taking the full-back position.

The front row consists of Jamie George and Dan Cole, while Maro Itoje partners with vice-captain Courtney Lawes in the lock positions. Tom Curry is the openside flanker, with Ben Earl taking the No. 8 spot.

At scrum half, Alex Mitchell maintains his partnership with Farrell, and in the midfield, Manu Tuilagi and Joe Marchant continue their collaboration. Elliot Daly retains his place on the left wing, with Jonny May occupying the right wing.

The bench boasts strength and experience with the likes of Theo Dan, Ellis Genge (vice-captain), Kyle Sinckler, Ollie Chessum, Billy Vunipola, Danny Care, George Ford (vice-captain), and Ollie Lawrence ready for action.

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England team to play South Africa:

15. Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 29 caps) 
14. Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 77 caps) 
13. Joe Marchant (Stade Francais, 24 caps) 
12. Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks, 57 caps) 
11. Elliot Daly (Saracens, 63 caps) 
10. Owen Farrell – captain (Saracens, 110 caps) 
9. Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints, 10 caps) 
1. Joe Marler (Harlequins, 87 caps) 
2. Jamie George (Saracens, 83 caps) 
3. Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 105 caps) 
4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 74 caps) 
5. George Martin (Leicester Tigers, 8 caps) 
6. Courtney Lawes – vice-captain (Northampton Saints, 104 caps) 
7. Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 48 caps) 
8. Ben Earl (Saracens, 23 caps)

Replacements: 16. Theo Dan (Saracens, 6 caps) 17. Ellis Genge – vice-captain (Bristol Bears, 56 caps) 18. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 67 caps) 19. Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers, 16 caps) 20. Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 74 caps) 21. Danny Care (Harlequins, 94 caps)   22. George Ford – vice-captain (Sale Sharks, 89 caps) 23. Ollie Lawrence (Bath Rugby, 19 caps)

South Africa team

Damian Willemse; Kurt-Lee Arendse, Jesse Kriel, Damian de Allende, Cheslin Kolbe; Manie Libbok, Cobus Reinach; Steven Kitshoff, Mbongeni Mbonambi, Frans Malherbe; Eben Etzebeth, Franco Mostert; Siya Kolisi (captain), Pieter-Steph Du Toit, Duane Vermeulen.

Replacements: Deon Fourie, Ox Nche, Vincent Koch, RG Snyman, Kwagga Smith, Faf de Klerk, Handre Pollard, Willie Le Roux

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#5. Chris Robshaw (England)

The flanker is a former English rugby union player who captained the national team from 2012 to 2015.

Known for his exceptional work rate and leadership skills, Robshaw was a dynamic flanker who made a significant impact on the field. He enjoyed a successful club career with Harlequins, where he played for over a decade. Robshaw’s dedication and commitment to the sport earned him numerous accolades and the respect of his peers.

Off the field, he is admired for his philanthropic efforts, using his platform to support various charitable causes.

Owens said: “Some people will be surprised at this one to start off. His misfortune was perhaps to be leading England during a difficult time, but he always gave everything for the cause, encouraging others to follow suit, and he was a nice guy off the pitch.”