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South Africa name unchanged side for World Cup semi-final clash against England

By Josh Raisey
South Africa/ PA

South Africa head coach Jacques Nienaber has decided to stick to a winning formula and has named an unchanged squad to face England in the World Cup semi-final on Saturday at the Stade de France.

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The Springboks came away 29-28 winners against France in the quarter-finals in a game that has been heralded as one of the all-time greats. In light of that performance, Nienaber has named both the same starting XV and bench for only the second time in his tenure.

“We’ve been building a quality Rugby World Cup squad for the last few years so that we could be in this position going into the knockout matches,” said Nienaber.

Video Spacer

WATCH as Springbok flyhalf speaks about the residual beef England will have after the 2019 World Cup Final loss to South Africa

Video Spacer

WATCH as Springbok flyhalf speaks about the residual beef England will have after the 2019 World Cup Final loss to South Africa

“We have a squad of 33 players, all of whom are very closely matched in terms of their skill and quality of play which made it tempting to make changes this week and it was tough to select this group both last week and this week. But we feel it’s now time to go with the players in the squad who we believe are in their best form.”

Of the 23-player squad, 15 of them featured in the World Cup final victory over England four years ago, which came into Nienaber’s thinking when selecting the team.

He said: “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.”

South Africa XV
15 – Damian Willemse (DHL Stormers) – 37 caps, 56 pts (4t, 9c, 4p, 2d)
14 – Kurt-Lee Arendse (Vodacom Bulls) – 13 caps, 65 pts (13t)
13 – Jesse Kriel (Canon Eagles) – 66 caps, 75 pts (15t)
12 – Damian de Allende (Wild Knights) – 76 caps, 55 pts (11t)
11 – Cheslin Kolbe (Suntory Sungoliath) – 29 caps, 91 pts (14t, 3c, 5p)
10 – Manie Libbok (DHL Stormers) – 13 caps, 84 pts (1t, 26c, 9p)
9 – Cobus Reinach (Montpellier) – 30 caps, 60 pts (12t)
8 – Duane Vermeulen (SA Rugby) – 74 caps, 15 pts (3t)
7 – Pieter-Steph du Toit (Toyota Verblitz) – 74 caps, 40 pts (8t)
6 – Siya Kolisi (captain, Racing 92) – 81 caps, 50 pts (10t)
5 – Franco Mostert (Honda Heat) – 71 caps, 15 pts (3t)
4 – Eben Etzebeth (Hollywoodbets Sharks) – 117 caps, 30 pts (6t)
3 – Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers) – 67 caps, 5pts (1t)
2 – Bongi Mbonambi (Hollywoodbets Sharks) – 66 caps, 65pts (13t)
1 – Steven Kitshoff (Ulster) – 81 caps, 10 pts (2t)

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Replacements
16 – Deon Fourie (DHL Stormers) – 11 caps, 10 pts (2t)
17 – Ox Nche (Hollywoodbets Sharks) – 26 caps, 0 pts
18 – Vincent Koch (Hollywoodbets Sharks) – 48 caps, 0pts
19 – RG Snyman (Munster) – 32 caps, 5pts (1t)
20 – Kwagga Smith (Shizuoka Blue Revs) – 38 caps, 35 pts (7t)
21 – Faf de Klerk (Canon Eagles) – 53 caps, 48 pts (5t, 4c, 5p)
22 – Handre Pollard (Leicester Tigers) – 68 caps, 678 pts (7T, 95C, 146P, 5D)
23 – Willie le Roux (Vodacom Bulls) – 91 caps, 75 pts (15t)

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