Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus admits very little will change in their gameplan and team selection for the World Cup final against England in Yokohama on Saturday.
The Springboks got their preparations for the final started with their first training session of the week on Tuesday, after the team was given Monday off to recover from their efforts in the semi-final. Star wing Cheslin Kolbe was confirmed as fit for consideration and ran freely in training after sitting out the semi-final with an ankle injury.
There will be one more full training session on Wednesday, before the captain’s run on Friday, leaving the Boks will very little time to make changes, if any, for Saturday’s big game.
At Tuesday’s media conference, Erasmus surprised the English media by being forthcoming about the Springbok gameplan and probable team against England.
‘The big thing is that we’ve only got two days of training sessions so not a lot will change,’ Erasmus said. ‘I guess you can expect pretty much the same from us on Saturday. With 160 minutes of training in a six-day turnaround there’s not a lot you can do in those training sessions.
‘If you have a seven- or an eight-day turnaround you might change a few things with a couple of new starter moves or stuff like that. But there’s not a helluva lot you can change in six days.’
One of the English journalists asked Erasmus if he might be bluffing in an attempt to play mind games with the England camp, but Erasmus was adamant that he was being completely truthful.
‘The team will be exactly the same 23 with Cheslin Kolbe being one of the guys that will probably come into the match-day 23,’ he said.
‘We believe that’s the way we can get the best out of our team and get longevity from the forwards in terms of a six-day turnaround. But we also believe it’s our most fit, in-form, best available, and best combination team we can pick.’
The Springbok team will be named on Thursday and Kolbe is expected to replace Sbu Nkosi on the right wing in the only change to the match-day squad.
— SA Rugby magazine (@SARugbymag) October 29, 2019
Photo: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images