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Erasmus names unchanged Springbok side to take on New Zealand in World Cup opener

Pool B begins with an absolute blockbuster.

Etzebeth carries during the 16-16 draw in Wellington when the sides last met.
Etzebeth carries during the 16-16 draw in Wellington when the sides last met.
Image: Photosport/Grant Down/INPHO

SOUTH AFRICA HAVE named an unchanged 23 from the side who took on Japan in their final warm-up tie for Saturday’s altogether more serious affair against New Zealand in their opening match of the Rugby World Cup (Saturday 10.45, eir Sport).

It is four years since the Springboks went unchanged from Test to Test, dating back to the 2015 World Cup semi-final – when they also faced New Zealand and lost a tense battle 18-20.

Number eight Duane Vermeulen will make his 50th Test appearance with captain Siya Kolisi and Pieter-Stephe du Toit completing a powerful back row behind Eben Etzebeth and Franco Mostert.

Erasmus, who highlighted the consistency and momentum created by his ‘Boks side this season, has been able to pair Faf de Klerk and Handre Pollard at half-back, with Lukhany Am and Damian De Allende in midfield and the dangerous back three of Willie le Roux, Makazole Mapimpi and Toulouse’s Cheslin Kolbe in the back field.

South Africa

15: Willie Le Roux
14: Cheslin Kolbe
13: Lukhnayo Am
12: Damian de Allende
11: Makazole Mapimpi
10: Handre Pollard
9: Faf de Klerk

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1: Steven Kitshoff
2: Malcolm Marx
3: Frans Malherbe
4: Eben Etzebeth
5: Franco Mostert
6: Siya Kolisi (Capt)
7: Pieter-Steph du Toit
8: Duane Vermeulen


16. Bongi Mbonambi
17. Tendai Mtawarira
18. Trevor Nyakane
19. RG Snyman
20. Francois Louw
21. Herschel Jantjies
22. Frans Steyn
23. Jesse Kriel


Former Ireland performance analyst and current coaching wizard of OZ Eoin Toolan joins Murray Kinsella and Gavan Casey to predict Ireland’s World Cup, break down every pool, and call the overall winners.

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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Sean Farrell

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