Fit-again Cheslin Kolbe returns to the right wing in the only change to the Springboks’ starting lineup for this Saturday’s World Cup final against England in Yokohama.
Kolbe regains the right-wing berth from stand-in Sbu Nkosi in the only change to the team that claimed a 19-16 victory over Wales in Sunday’s semi-final.
Siya Kolisi will lead the team out for the 20th time as he becomes the eighth player in the 23 to have won 50 caps.
Rassie Erasmus named the now familiar 6-2 split on the bench to field a settled lineup, 22 of whom will be appearing together for the fourth time in the tournament.
This lineup first played together in the playoff-clinching 49-3 win over Italy a month ago and was retained for the quarter-final, semi-final and now final. Only Kolbe’s ankle injury interrupted the pattern.
‘Chessie is fully fit and ready to go,’ said Erasmus.
‘It’s tough on Sbu to drop out of the 23 altogether but, like the other seven, non-playing squad members – and the two injured players back home [Trevor Nyakane and Jesse Kriel] – he has made vital contributions to our campaign.’
Springboks – 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Subs: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Franco Mostert, 21 Francois Louw, 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Frans Steyn.
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