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South Africa unchanged for World Cup opener
By Raga House | Wed 18 Sep, 2019 09:14

Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus has kept faith with the Stormers prop duo of Steven Kitshoff and Frans Malherbe for South Africa's Rugby World Cup 2019 opener against the All Blacks in Yokohama on Saturday.

In the squad announced on Wednesday, Kitshoff and Malherbe hold off the challenges of Tendai Mtawarira and Trevor Nyakane, who made a big impact off the bench for the Boks in the 16-16 draw against New Zealand in Wellington in July.

Apart from one exception, it is the same line-up that featured in that draw in the Rugby Championship. Siya Kolisi was injured then and Kwagga Smith played at number six. 

The 23-man team selected for the Pool B match is the same as that which beat Japan 41-7 win in a final warm-up on 6 September, 2019, their last warm-up match before the World Cup.

Faf de Klerk and Handre Pollard are the starting halfbacks for the 12th time, and are therefore the most settled partnership at nine and 10 for the Springboks since 2014.

Siya Kolisi will become the third player to captain the Springboks in a World Cup match wearing the number six jersey, following Francois Pienaar (five matches in 1995) and Corné Krige (three matches in 2003).

Makazole Mapimpi has scored eight tries in eight appearances for the Springboks. In the professional era, only Bryan Habana (10) and Stefan Terblanche (8) also scored at least eight tries in their first eight appearances for the Springboks.

Frans Steyn is the only player left from the squad that won RWC 2007. He is vying to become the second Springbok to win two world titles after Os du Randt (1995, 2007).


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
9. Francois Faf De Klerk
10. Handre Pollard
11. Makazole Mapimpi
12. Damian de Allende
13. Lukhanyo Am
14. Cheslin Kolbe
15. Willie Le Roux

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

-Material derived from World Rugby 

Kenya Cup   Springbok   RWC 2019  
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