Handre Pollard starts at fly-half for South Africa in World Cup final against New Zealand

South Africa have opted for the experience of Handre Pollard in their starting line up
South Africa have opted for the experience of Handre Pollard in their starting line up

South Africa head coach Jacques Nienaber has made two changes to the starting line up for the upcoming Rugby World Cup final against New Zealand.

Nienaber has opted for his seasoned fly-half Handre Pollard in the starting line up with Manie Libbok out of the matchday squad. Libbok was replaced by Pollard in the 31st minute of the semi-final game.

Pollard will now pair with Faf de Klerk as the duo will go past Joost van der Westhuizen and Henry Honiball having starting for the 25th time to become the most experienced duo in the Springboks history.

De Klerk will replace Cobus Reinach while Nienaber and Rassie Erasmus have opted for a 7-1 combination on the bench with Willie Le Roux being the only backline player. Jean Kleyn, who represented Ireland in the 2019 Rugby World Cup before switching allegiances is part of the reserves that also has Deon Fourie, Ox Nche, Trevor Nykane, RG Snyman, Kwagga Smith and Jasper Wiese.

“This a huge day for the entire squad – and the guys who played for us earlier in the season,” he said.

“As a coaching team, we are proud of the contribution that every player in the larger squad made in getting us to the final to create this opportunity.

“We know we are in for a colossal battle. Every point and inch will count in this match, and we know it will take another top-class effort to come out on top on Saturday.”

Team line up:

South Africa: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Cheslin Kolbe, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff

Reserves: 16 Deon Fourie, 17 Ox Nche, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Jean Kleyn, 20 RG Snyman, 21 Kwagga Smith, 22 Jasper Wiese, 23 Willie le Roux