South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus made just one change from the starting side that drew with New Zealand in July when he named his team for Saturday’s crunch Rugby World Cup clash with the world champions in Yokohama.
Siya Kolisi, who missed the 16-16 Wellington draw because of injury, will captain the side at openside flanker in place of Kwagga Smith to make up an imposing back row with number eight Duane Vermeulen and blindside Pieter Steph du Toit.
🗣 “We’ve found some consistency and some momentum in a number of ways this season, and one of them is in selection" – Rassie Erasmus— Springboks (@Springboks) September 18, 2019
🔗 https://t.co/YiltfJdSt9#StrongerTogether #RWC2019 #NZLvRSA pic.twitter.com/yC47EHzTrw
“We’ve found some consistency and some momentum in a number of ways this season and one of them is in selection,” Erasmus said.
“We have 31 players in the squad, any of whom I would be happy to select… but this is a line-up that has worked well as a starting combination and one with real momentum to come from the bench.
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“We’re continuing to develop and new players are always pushing a claim but we’ve prepared well and we’re looking forward to what will be another extremely close match.”
South Africa team to play New Zealand
South Africa: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk; 1 Steven Kitshoff, 2 Malcom Marx, 3 Frans Malherbe, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 5 Franco Mostert, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 7 Pieter Steph du Toit, 8 Duane Vermeulen.
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Francois Louw, 21-Herschel Jantjies, 22 Frans Steyn, 23 Jesse Kriel.