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Damian de Allende shifts to outside centre as Springboks make 13 changes for final pool game

By Tom Vinicombe
Springboks midfielder Damian de Allende is swarmed by the Azurri defence during Italy's first victory over South Africa in 2016. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)

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Springboks head coach Rassie Erasmus has named a hugely changed team for his side’s final pool match of the Rugby World Cup but will still be hoping to continue to build momentum against a struggling Canadian team.


There are 13 changes to the starting side that crushed Italy 49-3 only two days ago.

Thomas du Toit, Schalk Brits and Vincent Koch come into the front row whilst RG Snyman and Franco Mostert will form the locking combination.

In the loose forwards, captain Siya Kolisi is the sole player retained and will be joined by Kwagga Smith and Francois Louw.

Cobus Reinach and Elton Jantjies will partner up in the halves.

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Frans Steyn, who is considered the third-choice flyhalf in the squad, will start in the 12 jersey. He will form a formidable midfield with Damian de Allende, who started at 12 against Italy but will don the 13 jersey for this match.


The outside backs are completely changed. Recent call-up Damian Willemse slots in at fullback whilst S’Busiso Nkosi and Warrick Gelant will cover the wings.

Post South Africa’s last victory, Rassie Erasmus identified one area where the team was perhaps not quite meeting his expectations.

“We definitely have to get better on the attacking side,” Erasmus said.


“As you saw, New Zealand scored nine tries… (against Canada) and we scored nine tries (against Namibia).

“They scored it in different ways and we scored it in different ways. Some people enjoy the way New Zealand score tries, and we enjoy the way we score tries.

“We have a certain style that we play. We have certain types of players and we play to our strengths.

“We know the way we performed [against Italy] is good enough to get us to a quarter-final, and we know we have to have some improvements on attack to progress to semi-finals and finals.

“But that is not the only area we need to improve. We were better at scrum-time against a good Italian pack, until they had to go to uncontested scrums.”

Erasmus will be hoping for a sterner test of his men from Canada, with a sudden death game against Ireland, Scotland or Japan looming large. The Springboks will have a lengthy 11-day break between their final match of the group stages and their quarterfinal showdown in Oita.

Their upcoming October 8th match against Canada kicks off from Kobe at 19:15 JST.

South Africa: Damian Willemse, Warrick Gelant, Damian de Allende, Frans Steyn, S’Busiso Nkosi, Elton Jantjies, Cobus Reinach, Francois Louw, Kwagga Smith, Siya Kolisi (c), Franco Mostert, RG Snyman, Vincent Koch, Schalk Brits, Thomas du Toit. Reserves: Malcolm Marx, Steven Kitshoff, Frans Malherbe, Eben Etzebeth, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Herschel Jantjies, Handre Pollard, Willie Le Roux.

Fans in attendance at Tokyo Stadium on Saturday evening for England’s win over Argentina were divided over whether Pumas lock Tomas Lavanini deserved a red card for his dangerous tackle on Owen Farrell:

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