England are a 'massive speedbump' for South Africa - Rassie Erasmus

Rassie Erasmus is expecting a stiff challenge against England in the semi-final
Rassie Erasmus is expecting a stiff challenge against England in the semi-final
©Steve Haag

South Africa director of rugby Rassie Erasmus has ramped up the mind games ahead of the Rugby World Cup semi-final against England to be played in Saint-Denis on Saturday.

The match will be a repeat of the 2019 Rugby World Cup final which saw the Springboks seal a 32-12 victory to win the title for the third time.

While England started rough under Steve Borthwick, they managed to redeem themselves and have been unbeaten in the competition until now and Erasmus sees a lot of similarities between the two sides.

"They are a massive speedbump for us to get over," Erasmus said.

"I was looking at their possible team and we average 200 minutes per player; them 216. The average caps in our team will be around 54; them around 59. Average age for us 30; them 29. Average weight 104 (kilograms) against 105."

The Springboks director of rugby also did not hesitate in naming the expecting England line up for the high profile encounter.

"Now, we're guessing, obviously. We took the basic guys - [Ellis] Genge, [Jamie] George, [Kyle] Sinckler, [Maro] Itoje, [Ollie] Chessum, [Courtney] Lawes, [Tom] Curry, [Ben] Earl, [Alex] Mitchell, [Owen] Farrell, [Elliot] Daly, [Manu] Tuilagi, [Joe] Marchant, [Jonny] May, Marcus Smith or [Freddie] Steward, [Joe] Marler, [Dan] Cole, George [Martin] , Billy [Vunipola] , Ben Youngs or Danny, [Care] George Ford, and Ollie [Lawrence]. That's who we think but we might be totally wrong."

South Africa with their experience of big matches were tipped favourites but Erasmus downplayed the advantage and is expecting a close fight against Steve Borthwick's men.

"I think there are three realities -- there's the reality with England beef, there's the reality with what the world says -- the media, the pundits -- and then there's our reality, and the truth," Erasmus said.

"The truth is England haven't lost a pool game, they didn't lose the quarterfinal, they were in the building stage, they stuck to their guns, I don't think they've had a lot of injuries.

"We would be stupid [to listen], we know we have a six-day turnaround, we travelled yesterday and I think they also have a six-day turnaround and we need to build a game."