Cheslin Kolbe back in only Springbok Rugby World Cup final change
England vs South Africa in Saturday's Rugby World Cup final in Yokohama (9am kick off)
By Michael Cantillon in Tokyo
Last Updated: 01/11/19 8:52am
South Africa head coach Rassie Erasmus has made just one change to his Springbok XV to take on England in Saturday's Rugby World Cup final, as wing Cheslin Kolbe has recovered from injury to start on the right wing.
Kolbe's reintroduction after an ankle knock sees S'bu Nkosi drop out of the squad in the only change to the 23-man lineup, as the replacements bench remains the same as the 19-16 semi-final victory over Wales last Sunday.
The only sides in World Cup history ever to have changed their starting XV's between semi-final and final and won were New Zealand on home soil in 1987 and England in Australia in 2003.
Springboks captain Siya Kolisi will appear in his 50th Test for South Africa in the final, making him the 37th Bok ever to reach the milestone. The 28-year-old also joins Francois Pienaar (1995) and John Smit (2007) as the third ever man to captain South Africa in a Rugby World Cup final.
Consistency has been a key theme to South Africa selection policy. Indeed, having named the same squad against Italy and Japan before now, they become the first nation ever to pick the same squad with the same numbers in three different RWC matches. Australia (1991) and Ireland (2011) selected the same match-day squad three times but without the players wearing the same numbers.
The back-row, made up of Kolisi, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Duane Vermeulen start together for a 10th time since the beginning of 2018 - only Argentina trio Pablo Matera, Marcos Kremer and Javier Ortega Desio have started more (11) during the same period.
At half-back too there is consistency, as Faf de Klerk and Handre Pollard start together for a 16th time since the start of 2018, marking them out as the most used scrum-half/out-half partnership in the world during that period - Ireland's Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton also having started 16.
Frans Steyn, who is among the replacements as backs cover, is the only player to remain from the Springboks side which won the 2007 Rugby World Cup in Paris against England.
South Africa: 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 Tendai Mtawarira, 2 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 3 Frans Malherbe, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 5 Lood de Jager, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 7 Pieter-Steph Du Toit, 8 Duane Vermeulen.
Replacements: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Franco Mostert, 21 Francois Louw, 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Frans Steyn.