South Africa remain unchanged for Rugby World Cup opener against New Zealand

South Africa head coach Rassie Erasmus
South Africa head coach Rassie Erasmus
©Steve Haag

South Africa director of rugby Rassie Erasmus has named an unchanged matchday squad for the Rugby World Cup opening game clash against New Zealand in Yokohama on Saturday.

The matchday 23 is the same as the side that defeated host Japan 7-41 at Kumagaya Rugby Stadium in the warm-up game earlier this month while Siya Kolisi's return is the only change from the starting line-up that went on to draw 16-16 against All Blacks.

Prop Trevor Nyakane has found a place on the bench despite having concern over his fitness while Kwagga Smith Sbu Nkosi miss out.

"We've found some consistency and some momentum in a number of ways this season and one of them is in selection," Erasmus said.

"We have 31 players in the squad, any of whom I would be happy to select. but this is a line-up that has worked well as a starting combination and one with real momentum to come from the bench.

"We're continuing to develop and new players are always pushing a claim but we've prepared well and we're looking forward to what will be another extremely close match."

South Africa starting line-up: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk; 1 Steven Kitshoff, 2 Malcom Marx, 3 Frans Malherbe, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 5 Franco Mostert, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 7 Pieter Steph du Toit, 8 Duane Vermeulen.

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


2019 Rugby World Cup Points Table